Segolene Royal is now just one step away from becoming France’s first female president. The Socialist candidate’s campaign has stressed the importance of listening to the public’s voice. And, as she attempts to follow in the footsteps of Francois Mitterrand, the strategy appears to have paid off.
An adviser to the late leader when he was head of state, Segolene Royal was named environment minister in 1992. Subsequently given junior ministerial posts, her career in government ended abruptly in 2002 when the Socialists lost power.
Later becoming a regional leader, the mother-of- four was picked to spearhead this year’s fight back. With limited international experience, she headed abroad. The media followed, as did a series of what critics branded gaffes.
Supported throughout the setbacks by her long-time partner, Socialist leader Francois Hollande, Segolene Royal now knows the top job in French politics is firmly within reach.