28 March 2011
France’s opposition Socialists are celebrating a decisive local election victory against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling centre-right UMP.
The Socialists took nearly 36% of votes, while the UMP mustered just 20% and the far-right National Front (FN) scored 12%.
The result was interpreted as a key step in the presidential ambitions of Socialist leader Martine Aubry.
Fifty Socialist MPs have now urged the party to back her for the presidency.
Ms Aubry told supporters: “Our determination is total to show that another France is possible.”
Although presidential elections are not due until 2012, Ms Aubry faces strong opposition to lead the Socialist campaign from current International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Khan as well as other candidates such as former party leader Francois Hollande.
In their letter, made public on Monday, the 50 MPs throw their weight behind the Socialist leader, arguing that she has the “legitimacy” and “responsibility” to unite “the Left, ecologists and popular forces” which they believe are necessary for election victory.
Continue reading at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12883400