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Presidential hopefuls rub shoulders at Socialist Party conference

Presidential hopefuls rub shoulders at Socialist Party conference
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On the second day of the Socialist Party conference in the western French town of La Rochelle, and enthusiasm for potential presidential candidate Ségolène Royal shows no sign of abating. Second in line in the opinion polls behind Royal is presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss Kahn, also a former cabinet minister.

He has based his campaign on renewal describing himself as the man with the right skills and experience for the job: “I am not candidate for a De Gaulle-inspired presidency, that is not my style,” he told Socialist party members, “I am not candidate for a Mitterand-type presidency, that wouldn’t make any sense in today’s world. I am a candidate borne by a belief that I can give a new breath of life to France.”

Former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius also hopes party members will chose him as their candidate in next year’s presidential election, but opinion polls don’t fare well for the former Mitterand protégé. And finally, supporters of former prime minister and twice presidential candidate Lionel Jospin are still hoping he will announce his candidacy, despite officially retiring from politics following his 2002 humiliation.