French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy will most likely be challenged by Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie for the UMP nomination, at least according to Le Figaro. The article hinted that they had already decided upon conducting a "loyal debate", which has lead some commentators to speculate that she will just be a "sparring partner". But if Segolene Royal's victory proved anything, it is that a vigorous primary does not necessarily leave any lasting damage. Questions still linger around a possible Villepin run, but frankly he would not stand a chance, for his improved poll numbers still show him very unpopular in France.
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