French seek to prevent rebel revival in Mali

International — Link

As new President takes up office, French military engineers unearth weapons buried in desert sands by fleeing militia.

Urgently wanted: new political leaders to rebuild Mali

International — Analysis

As Mali begins its slow process of reconstruction, the country's political elites are already preparing for a presidential election in July. Western observers say this election is an essential step in Mali's attempts to find stability. But, as Thomas Cantaloube reports from the capital Bamako, those same observers also fear that the elections will come too soon for the new and younger breed of emerging politicians that the country so desperately needs. And that the old self-serving elites may find themselves back in power.

France's UMP wins by-elections despite divisions

France — Link

The right-wing opposition party won all three by-elections at the weekend in the latest sign of trouble for Socialist President Francois Hollande.

UMP future hangs on Sunday talks

France — Link

The fate of France's copposition UMP party hangs on the outcome of a meeting Sunday between a mediator and the two rivals for its leadership.

Copé wins leadership of UMP party

France — Link

Jean-François Copé is winner of elections for leadership of France's conservative UMP party, but his short victory threatens a future split on the Right.

The hidden hand of French companies in US elections

International — Analysis

While attention in France and elsewhere in the world last week was mainly focused on the presidential race between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, there were also many Congressional contests taking place across the United States. An investigation has revealed that a number of French groups were involved in funding candidates at those elections. Officially the fund-raising was carried out by American employees of those French businesses rather than the firms themselves. But, curiously, these staff members tended to favour Congressional candidates who were close to their own company's interests. Martine Orange reports. 

Hollande to tighten grip in French parliament election

France — Link

Socialists not set for landslide victory in parliamentary elections, yet a lesser triumph should still permit France's left-wing leader to rule effectively.

Marion Le Pen hoping to continue the Front National dynasty

France — Link

The granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen has just become the third generation of France’s far-Right dynasty to take to the hustings.

Muslims in France waiting for the backlash

France — Link

Muslims in France and Europe speak of their fear of a backlash yet to come after Mohammed Merah's shooting spree in Toulouse last month.

French expats to get their own MPs

France — Link

The 2.5 million French people who live abroad will be allowed to vote in 11 foreign constituencies, with London representing a crucial battleground.

Nationality, citizenship and a foreigner's right to vote in France

France — Report

Early December, the Left majority in the French Senate passed a bill to give non-EU nationals the right to vote and to stand as candidates for the position of councilor in local, municipal elections. The bill stands no chance of becoming law before the 2012 presidential and legislative elections, as it would require adoption by the current Right-majority in parliament's lower house, and the approval of President Nicolas Sarkozy. But a Socialist Party victory in next year's polls could see the bill finally introduced as law, ending several decades of campaigning, notably by representatives of France's large North African immigrant community. Carine Fouteau met with Hocine Taleb, a 32 year-old Algerian who runs a youth association in a Paris suburb, who explains his anger and frustration at being excluded from local decision-making.

The facts of the pact that panics the French nuclear lobby

France — Analysis

After tortuous negotiations, France's Green party last weekend finally ratified an electoral pact drawn up with the Socialist Party which centres on a steep reduction in nuclear power production and the development of renewable energy sources. The agreement, which has triggered alarm bells in the French nuclear industry, seals an alliance between both parties for the legislative elections that will immediately follow next year's presidential poll. Jade Lindgaard examines the facts and figures behind the programme to reduce nuclear energy production, and reports on the last-minute political high drama that came close to leaving it stillborn.

Tensions run high at the gates of Abidjan

International — Report

Tensions are running high in Ivory Coast, where Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president defeated in November elections is refusing to hand over power to his newly-elected rival Alassane Ouattara. A delegation of African leaders returned to the country Monday January 3rd to persuade Gbagbo to quit, amid reports they are offering him an amnesty in exchange. If he refuses, West African states have warned they will employ force to oust him. We report from a spot just outside the economic capital Abidjan, where a divided population feverishly await the next development in the crisis.