US Republicans could learn from Sarkozy

12th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, June 12, 2007 (AFP) - American conservatives can learn a lesson from their French counterparts in how unpopular governments can win elections, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, said Tuesday.

LONDON, June 12, 2007 (AFP) - American conservatives can learn a lesson from their French counterparts in how unpopular governments can win elections, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, said Tuesday.

"It is time for some strong medicine for American conservatives and it does not get any stronger than this: if Republicans are going to have any chance of victory in 2008, they need to learn a thing or two from the French," Gingrich wrote in Britain's Financial Times business newspaper.

Nicolas Sarkozy, France's interior minister under outgoing president Jacques Chirac, won last month's presidential election and his conservative Union for a Popular Movement party could be heading for a landslide following Sunday's general election first round.

"Sarkozy's win shows that it is possible to produce a decisive national decision in favour of more conservative reform when voters are faced with a choice between ideological failure on the left and bold solutions and bold leadership from a newly redefined right," wrote Gingrich.

"The contest was just what the 2008 contest in the US is shaping up to be: a classic 'change' election."

Gingrich has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for the 2008 US presidential election. Republican incumbent President George W. Bush cannot stand for a third term.

The 63-year-old said Sarkozy was able to sweep to victory by providing a "transformational" agenda.

"Here is where American Republicans really need to pay attention. In France, voting for change meant voting for the party in office, but not the personality in office.

"If Republicans in the US hope to win the presidency next year, they had better find a candidate who, like Mr Sarkozy, is prepared to stand for very bold, very dramatic and very systematic change."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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