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Ségolene calls in the "elephants"

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Ségolene calls in the "elephants"

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French presidential candidate Ségolene Royal has called in the support of her former rivals Lionel Jospin, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Laurent Fabius in a bid to boost her faltering campaign. Royal became the Socialist candidate by presenting herself as an outsider – using participatory democracy as a way of bypassing the traditional hierarchy.

Former prime minister Jospin was a fierce critic of Royal’s methods and his place in the campaign team is a surprise – former finance minister Strauss Kahn and former prime minister Fabius had been expected to be called in.

Royal has slipped badly in the opinion polls in recent weeks and although she was boosted by her performance in a prime-time TV debate on Monday, she continues to trail right of centre rival Nicolas Sarkozy.