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.
Former French Prime Minister François Fillon and his rival Jean-François Copé both claim victory for leadership of the conservative UMP party.
The conservative UMP will on Sunday choose between François Fillon and Jean-François Copé to lead the party in opposition.
After the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party in France's presidential and parliamentary elections, various prominent party figures have publicly questioned the former president's tactic of lurching to the right in a bid to poach votes from the far-right Front National (FN). Joël Gombin, a researcher at the University of Picardy who specialises in studying the FN's electorate, says this policy should be abandoned, not only because it so manifestly failed - but also because it legitimised the Front National. He spoke to Marine Turchi.
France's mainstream Right head for parliamentary elections amid a fratricidal battle for control of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party.
As François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy battle it out head-to-head ahead of the second round of the French presidential election, they face very different challenges. For the Socialist Party's Hollande, with victory seemingly in his grasp, the aim is to maintain the same measured approach that has marked his campaign so far. For Sarkozy, however, the success of the far-right Front National in the first round has raised a dilemma. Should he court the FN's first-round voters – or instead focus on attracting voters from the political centre? At stake are not just Sarkozy's chance of winning the election, but the future of the right in French politics. First Stéphane Alliès and then Marine Turchi report on two contrasting campaigns ahead of the decisive vote on May 6th.
Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages with soundtracks of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and milestone events which will continue all the way to the final vote on May 6th. Here he captures the atmosphere at President Nicolas Sarkozy’s major rally on Sunday March 10th at a meeting hall in Villepinte, a suburban town north of Paris, where, before an estimated 30,000 flag-waving supporters, he played the trump cards he hopes will turn around a flagging re-election campaign.
A Member of Parliament from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party caused uproar this week after denouncing homosexuals as over-represented “at the heart of power”, likening gay relationships to incest, dismissing the deportation of homosexuals from France during German occupation of the country in WWII as a “great legend”, and describing homosexuality as a state of “narcissism” built on “a stupid theory of genders”. The controversy caused by Christian Vanneste (pictured) erupted the day Sarkozy officially announced his bid for re-election, and coincided with the president’s dismissal of opening up marriage to gay couples “in these troubled times where our society needs points of reference”. Ellen Salvi reports.
France's ruling UMP party is set to expel one of its MPs who said gay people hold too much sway and who downplayed WWII persecution of gays.
Jean-François Copé, leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party, is at the centre of a police investigation into the annulment, when he was budget minister, of a tax back payment of 6.2 million-euros demanded from a wealthy businessman connected to two key suspects in the so-called ‘Karachigate' illegal political funding affair. The tax adjustment, which was reduced by 4 million euros (document above), came after arms dealer Ziad Takieddine raised the case with Copé on the behest of Nicolas Bazire, managing director of luxury goods firm LVMH, according to a statement given to police by Takieddine's British former wife, Nicola Johnson. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
A remarkable book just published in France traces the history of graphic propaganda used by French parties of the Right, both mainstream and extreme, from 1880 to the current day. Tricolores, by Applied Arts professor Zvonimir Novak, took ten years of research and includes 800 posters, ranging from the crude creations of early reactionary populist and anti-Semitic monarchist movements through to the carefully-crafted images of the modern conservative and Far Right parties. "There is cohesion there, you can actually follow a party with nothing but these documents to go on," explains Novak. In this article by Marine Turchi, he decodes the visual and verbal rhetoric behind 17 telling examples.
Official campaigning for next year's French presidential elections will begin later this autumn, when most of the candidates will finally be declared. Before the flurry of mass rallies and local meetings kick off across the country, Mediapart has been looking at the shadowy security force that polices gatherings by President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party. Its members include ex-servicemen from elite army units and former police officers, whose missions apparently go well beyond crowd security alone. Marine Turchi reports.
The newly-formed French government has lost almost all of its centre-right ministers, notably the leaders of the two centrist movements that have, until now, supported President Nicolas Sarkozy through thick and thin. Marine Turchi reports on how the president has turned his back on building a broad ruling majority.