French Election Results: Socialists Pick Top Two Candidates For Runoff To Face Sarkozy
PARIS/AP — A moderate French leftist once dismissed as soft as a strawberry dominated nationwide primary voting Sunday, and emerged the top likely challenger to the divisive and impulsive Nicolas Sarkozy for the nation's presidency.
Pollsters say Francois Hollande, a longtime Socialist leader who urged his party to embrace European integration, could easily dislodge the little-loved Sarkozy as president. Sunday's unusual Socialist Party primary produced the first electoral proof of Hollande's popularity.
But Hollande faces a tough run-off next week against the author of France's 35-hour workweek, party stalwart Martine Aubry, as both seek to solve voters' economic worries and prove their leftist mettle while maintaining party unity.