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Jospin returns to French politics

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Jospin returns to French politics

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Former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has made an emotional return to the political fray. Jospin quit politics after finishing behind far right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in presidential elections four years ago. But he returned to the stage on Saturday and when a delegate asked him why he had left and why now he was back, he gave delegates at the Socialist Party’s summer school an emotional account of four years in the wilderness.

“I thought that by carrying the burden of the shock of defeat, symbolically, physically and painfully, I would be helped the party’s chances in parliamentary elections not hinder them,” he said. The intervention has heightened speculation that Jospin was planning to stand as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections, but Ségolène Royale, the frontrunner for the party’s nomination,
was dismissive.

“I think that analysing the past is useful,” she said, “But what’s important is to construct a desire for the future and to respond to the questions the French people are asking themselves today”. French Socialist party members will vote in November on their choice of a candidate for the presidency.