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French socialists back Hollande's timetable for reform

French socialists back Hollande's timetable for reform
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The Socialist party in France, wounded by its recent defeat in presidential and parliamentary elections, has held a key vote on its future. Despite fierce debate about who should now head the party, its national council has decided to stick with Francois Hollande until a congress in 2008.

Prominent socialist politicians including former prime minister Laurent Fabius were at today’s meeting. But the defeated presidential candidate, Segolene Royal, until recently Hollande’s partner, was conspicuous by her absence. The pair recently announced their separation. Her supporters had been suggesting the party congress should be brought forward to this year, so deep reforms within the party can begin straight away.