With Segolene Royal at his side, Socialist party head Francois Hollande today urged his party to rally behind Royal in the first round of voting so as to create "a dynamic of victory."
In doing so he attempted to reign in any socialists who might be thinking of crossing party lines:
"I fixed a rule as of last summer (...) which consisted in saying that the socialist elected officials, in capacity to give their signature to a candidate, must give it only to Ségolène Royal, now candidate of the Socialist Party. I do not prohibit any other elected official close to the left in making another choice."
Hollande also voiced his concerns over the danger of Jean-Marie Le Pen or Francois Bayrou beating out Royal and making it into the second round.
On the other side of the aisle, UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy promised last night that he will resign as Interior Minister at the end of March. The suspected date of departure is March 23, which would give Sarkozy a full month of campaigning before the first round vote.
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