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Sarkozy's UMP party to vote for a new leader

Sarkozy's UMP party to vote for a new leader
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Around 300,000 members of the political party of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy are voting for a new leader.

The opposition UMP has been without a head since Sarkozy lost the presidential election in May.

Fighting for the leadership is a man whose style of politics has been compared to that of the former president.

Jean-Francois Cope, who is UMP’s Secretary General, is advocating the party move further to the right and become an aggressive opponent of the socialist government – courting supporters of Marine Le Pen’s Front National.

However, Cope will have to beat the favourite – former prime minister Francois Fillon.

Fillon is warning that a move to right would cause a divide within the party, thus weakening it.

Having played such a large role under Nicolas Sarkozy, Fillon is also portraying himself as an experienced statesman.