Friday, November 24, 2006

Sarkozy aims at competition

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to force the hands of his UMP party rivals by encouraging the primary fight to begin. After a week of enduring internal snipes from PM Villepin and those close with President Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy is eager to win a strong mandate from his party in the January primary. He has also been keen to play up his reputation as a better international statesman than Socialist candidate Segolene Royal:
The next President of the Republic will have to deal with Iran, Lebanon, Israel - can that President keep saying to people 'I'm listening to you'. You can't spend five months of your campaign saying 'hey, I've got no ideas, give me some.

This is a smart tactical move for Sarkozy, because the sooner he can rid himself of his meddlesome colleagues, the sooner he will have the chance to whittle away at Royal's currently sparkling public image. How soon he is successful is a different story.

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