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French left picks Hollande for presidential polls

world Updated: Oct 17, 2011 01:41 IST

Reuters
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French left-wingers vote on Sunday to designate the presidential candidate whose mission will be to unseat Nicolas Sarkozy in an election next year, and the favourite is Francois Hollande, a moderate Socialist Party veteran little known beyond France.

In a US-style primary, voters choose between Hollande, who has never held a national government post, and Martine Aubry, one-time labour minister, architect of France’s 35-hour week and daughter of the former European Commission President Jacques Delors. Opinion polls give Hollande a lead of six percentage points over Aubry. The left’s runaway favourite to become president had been former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn but his IMF career and presidential hopes were halted when he was arrested in New York in May on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

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