The resistible return of Nicolas Sarkozy

France — Link

The Financial Times considers that Sarkozy's presidency bid to follow election as leader of the UMP party is bad for his party and for France.

Sarkozy UMP party online election contest marred by cyber attack

France — Link

Some party members may have been prevented from voting in the leadership election fought by three candidates, including Nicolas Sarkozy.

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.

Feuding French conservatives set new leadership vote

France — Link

The opposition UMP party, which has been locked in an acrimonious leadership struggle, has agreed to hold a new vote before October 2013.

Ideological splits and strategic dilemmas – the real reason why the right-wing UMP is in crisis

France — Analysis

The main French right-wing opposition party the UMP has been in turmoil following a disastrous leadership election last month that saw both candidates claiming victory and which led to a formal split among its Members of Parliament. There are signs that the two sides may be close to finding a way out of the immediate crisis amid talk of a new contest next year. But, as Marine Turchi reports, the party has not even begun to address its fundamental problems of ideology and strategy faced with the Far Right.

French opposition takes step towards healing rift

France — Link

After a month of bitter recriminations the two rivals for presidency of right-wing UMP appear to agree on a fresh leadership vote in September.

Ally of new UMP boss calls for fresh leadership vote

France — Link

Country's main conservative party edges closer to resolving crisis as former minister backs calls for new poll to pick a leader.

Socialists ponder their strategy faced with self-destruction of UMP


The right-wing opposition party, the UMP, has been very publicly falling apart after a disastrous leadership election. In the ranks of the ruling Socialist Party MPs and officials have had some fun at the expense of their bitter rivals, and the government has been able to press forward with legislation almost unopposed. But some socialist MPs fear the squabbles in the UMP will reflect badly on all political parties. Others are increasingly concerned that the government is adopting the wrong strategy in the face of the opposition’s melt-down, and favouring social democratic policies over genuine socialist measures. Stéphane Alliès and Mathieu Magnaudeix assess the mood in Parliament.

Fillon demands recount of UMP leadership ballot

France — Link

Former French PM François Fillon demands a recount of elections he narrowly lost for leadership of conservative UMP party, which was at an 'impasse'.

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.

Hollande bid 'to lead revival of European Left'

International — Link

With Europe in crisis, François Hollande wants to use reaction against austerity to reinvigorate its moribund centre-left, says NYT's Stephen Castle.