President-elect Sarkozy resigns from party post

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 14, 2007 (AFP) - French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday resigned as president of the governing UMP party, saying he could not hold a partisan position as head of state.

PARIS, May 14, 2007 (AFP) - French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday resigned as president of the governing UMP party, saying he could not hold a partisan position as head of state.

Sarkozy, who takes over from President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday, announced his decision at a meeting of some 2,000 members of his Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party.

"Because the president must embody state authority, speak for all of the French people ... and ensure that its impartiality is beyond doubt, I have the moral obligation to resign from my duties as president of the UMP," he said.

No one is expected to be named as party president to succeed Sarkozy, with his aides instead saying that a collegial party structure will be put in place as the UMP heads into parliamentary elections in June.

Sarkozy took the helm of the party in November 2004 after Alain Juppe was forced to step down following a conviction on charges of illegal party funding.

Created in 2002, the UMP was formed from Chirac's Rally for the Republic Party (RPR) and a sizeable number of deputies from the centrist Union for a French Democracy (UDF) party.

Polls show that the UMP, which currently holds 369 seats in the 577-member National Assembly, is expected to win a majority in the June 10-17 elections.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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