This Is The Man Who Hopes To Bring Down Sarkozy

Francois Holland France Sarkozy

Photo: AP

French Socialists have chosen Francois Hollande to be their candidate for France’s Presidential election next year.His rival, Martine Aubry, conceded victory before primary results were released, reports the BBC. Early exit polls suggested that he had a lead of around 56% to Aubry’s 44% — a clear lead.

So what do we know about Hollande? Here’s a primer:

  • He was born in Rouen, the historical capital of Normandy in the North of France.
  • He’s worked for the Socialist Party in variety of positions over the years, including a period as mayor of Tulle.
  • Despite this work, he’s better known perhaps as a man behind the scenes. His nickname in France is “l’homme tranquille” — the quiet man.
  • Perhaps the best example of this is his roll supporting his then wife Ségolène Royal in her 2007 Presidential election bid, which she subsequently lost. He split with Royal after the wedding and there were reports of an affair with a journalist.
  • Perhaps the biggest worry with Hollande is that his political career has been so low-profile. He has never held a government post, for example.
  • It’s very unlikely that Hollande would have been picked as Socialist candidate had the strong favourite candidate not been accused of certain crimes in a certain New York hotel room.
  • Hollande will likely face incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy — Sarkozy hasn’t announced he will run yet — and polls show he has a strong chance of winning.

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