The confirmation of Martine Aubry as the new leader of France’s opposition Socialists seems to have done little to heal the rift threatening to split the party in two.
A special committee was set up after last week’s vote to investigate allegations of irregularities made by the supporters of Segolene Royal.
But it has found that Aubry actually beat her rival by 102 votes – 60 more than first thought.
“I think that today, every Socialist should be there for the French people, and I told Segolene that in the teams we are putting together, her supporters are welcome,” she said at a press conference.
Royal, the party’s former presidential candidate, originally refused to recognise the result of last Friday’s poll, but seems to have had a change of heart: “Recent events within the Socialist Party have proved that it is alive in the democratic sense – it’s the first time in France that a political party has fought such a long battle,” she said.
Even after Aubry’s victory was ratified, several of Royal’s supporters continued to threaten legal action over alleged cheating.
Aubry, the first woman to lead France’s socialists, faces an uphill battle to unite the party and rebuild its battered credibility before the next presidential poll in 2012.