How primaries cleared out old guard from French politics


The list of victims of the recent presidential primary elections held by the Left and Right in France is remarkable. Two presidents, two prime ministers and a number of senior former ministers have been rejected after rebellious voters gave their verdicts. The primary process - which ended on Sunday with the unlikely election of Benoît Hamon as the official socialist candidate for the presidential contest – has proved something of an earthquake for the French political establishment, writes Hubert Huertas.

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Even for someone used to the vagaries of political life, what has happened recently in France is completely astonishing. In fewer than 100 days – indeed it has been just 70 days since the French Right's first-round primary vote on November 20th, 2016 – seven to eight million voters have either chased all the country's leaders from the political landscape or forced them to leave.