French left fields Royal in presidential challenge
17 Nov, 2006 04:08
The French Socialist Party announced its choice of former family and environment minister Segolene Royal as presidential candidate. She runs the chance of becoming France's first-ever female head-of-state.
Front-runner Royal took just over 60 per cent of votes in the first round. The result trounced male candidates Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former finance minister, and former prime minister Laurent Fabius.Royal's critics say the mother-of-four and partner of Socialist party leader Francois Hollande is not tough enough to lead the nation. Royal accuses her detractors of sexism. Most recent opinion polls put Royal neck-and-neck with leading right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. Both pledge injection of new energy into French politics.