Royal to give up parliament seat

11th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal said Friday she does not plan to stand in June's legislative elections, a decision that would take her out of the race to lead the socialist opposition in parliament.

PARIS, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal said Friday she does not plan to stand in June's legislative elections, a decision that would take her out of the race to lead the socialist opposition in parliament.

Royal -- who is both deputy for the Deux Sevres department and president of the Poitou Charentes region in western France -- said she would honour a campaign pledge to limit herself to one official mandate.

"I do not have the intention to stand again ... I am applying to myself the principle that I defended during the presidential campaign," she told AFP, denying reports she planned to run in the elections on June 10 and 17.

But Royal appeared to leave the door open for a change of mind, saying the situation was "complicated" and that a petition was doing the rounds in her Deux Sevres constituency for her to stand.

The 53-year-old has said she wants to continue playing a leading role in the "renovation of the left" but a question mark hangs over her political future following her emphatic defeat on Sunday to the right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy.

If she gives up her seat as deputy, Royal will lose the possibility of taking control of the PS group in parliament, although she could still try to conquer leadership of the party from her base in Poitou-Charentes.

Royal faces stiff competition from PS heavyweights including the social-democrat Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has openly criticised the current party leadership and positioned himself as leader-in-waiting.

The PS on Saturday holds a national council aimed at hammering out its strategy for the legislatives -- including sharing out roles between Royal and her rivals in running the campaign.

According to a poll published Thursday, the PS is expected to win 158 to 200 out of 577 seats in the lower house National Assembly, with Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement expected to retain an overall majority.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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