The Battle for the Presidency of the Assembly Begins

Jean Glavany, right, Deputy of the 3rd district of the Hautes-Pyrénées.
Photo: Flickr.com/jyc1

This is a battle within a battle. While the Parti Socialiste (PS) and its allies have won an absolute majority in the Assembly with 314 deputies, the race for the Presidency is open. With Ségolène Royal defeated in La Rochelle and Jack Lang defeated in the Vosges, the field now appears open for certain members of the Socialist Party who have made their intentions known. A quick glance at the three names that come up most often: Jean Glavany, Claude Bartelone, and Elisabeth Guigou.

Claude Bartelone

Claude Bartelone, deputy of Seine Saint Denis and former minister of the same city under the government of Lionel Jospin, announced his candidacy in an interview in the newspaper Le Parisien. Giving his unwavering support to Martine Aubry since 2008, Bartelone also believes he “was helpful and loyal to François Hollande during his campaign.” In his view, this independence of spirit and his loyalty are strengths. He wants to be a President that brings people together, “animated with a republican spirit.”

Jean Glavany

Jean Glavany, deputy of Hautes Pyrénées, was active for several days to build a credible alternative to Ségolène Royal’s candidacy for the Presidency of the National Assembly.  Royal’s defeat allowed him to affirm his ambition but deprived him of a strong argument. Glavany, former chief of staff for François Mitterand and former Agriculture Minister of Lionel Jospin, formally announced his candidacy Monday afternoon. He stressed the “unique opportunity the election of François Hollande has offered to Parliament.”

 Elisabeth Guigou

In addition to these two historical figures of the PS, many would like to see a woman attain this prestigious position for the first time in the history of the Republic. Elisabeth Guigou could therefore possess all of the necessary qualifications. Asked about her candidacy on Monday, she said she was “available” although she stressed a “collective plan”  in preparation for this decision. She was Minister of Justice and Work under Lionel Jospin. Marilyse Lebranchu, the current Minister of State Reform, is another possible female candidate.

In France, the President of the National Assembly is the fourth person in the State after the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate, and the Primse Minister. Under the old UMP National Assembly, this person was Bernard Accoyer. His successor will be elected by secret ballot on June 26 during the inaugural session. 

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