French Socialists set date for presidential primaries

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France's opposition Socialist Party said Tuesday that its candidate to stand in the presidential election due in 2012 would be picked in November.

Candidates for the party's US-style "primaries" will have to declare themselves between June 28 and July 13, and then the primaries will be held in two rounds on October 9 and October 16, spokesman Benoit Hamon said.

The official nomination will take place at the party's national convention on November 5 or 6, he said.

Right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to run for re-election and his Socialist rival in the 2007 presidential polls, Segolene Royal, has already announced she will contend for her party's nomination.

Other presidential contenders are expected to announce their bids in the coming months, including Sarkozy's big right-wing rival Dominique de Villepin and several other small centre-right parties.

Former defence minister Herve Morin last week declared he would run as a centre-right candidate.

© 2011 AFP

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