A row has broken out over a Tweet sent by Valerie Trierweiler, the French First Lady, wishing success to Olivier Falorni, the candidate who is going up against Segolene Royal in the parliamentary elections. In contrast, President Hollande, who was in a relationship with Segolene Royal for 30 years and has four children with her, has publicly endorsed her bid for election. Analysts however, see more in the incident than an outbreak of relationship jealousy.
Christopher Bickerton, the Associate Professor of International Relations at The Institute for Political Studies in Paris, said: “I think this is the first big slip-up of Hollande’s campaign. They are comparing it to the time when Sarkozy had a slap-up meal in a posh restaurant at the beginning of his presidency. I think it’s easy to exaggerate this and it also poses some slightly more difficult questions about the relationship between the French media and the political establishment.”
Whether or not the roles of political journalist and First Lady are compatible remains to be seen. This is not the first time that the position of France’s First Lady has been the subject of fierce debate.
Similar questions were raised when Nicolas Sarkozy married Carla Bruni, who declared that she was “naturally of the left” and would have voted for Segolene Royal rather than Sarkozy in the elections.