Copé Officially Declared Winner … Barely.

Jean-François Copé at a Sarkozy rally in 2007. Toulouse.
Photo: flickr.com/Guillaume Paumier

UPDATED NOV. 22, 2012 TO REFLECT SITUATIONAL CHANGES: 

After temporarely accepting the verdict of the Commission, Fillion then claimed three federations were left out of the recount. He now maintains he would have vote by 26 votes out of over 60 000. The Fillion supporters now plead for a « neutral » and temporary UMP presidency run by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé, until the situation has been sorted out. Fillion has personally stated that if no measure if taken to redo the elections, he will seek justice in court. While admitting to some irregularities, he also points fingers at his rival, claiming a redo would actually prove him a winner by a greater number of votes. Copé called Fillion a « sore loser » on thursday morning, and still clings to his victory. The timing of the electoral crisis is particularly unfortunate as Sarkozy is currently appearing in court over suspicions of illegal funding for his 2007 Presidential election campaign, tarnishing the image and attacking at the credibility of the opposition party in France even more.

Update written by Staff Writer Sasha Papazoff

The highly contentious election for the leader of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) was finally called shortly before 11 PM local time on Monday, with incumbent Jean-François Copé the winner by the slimmest of margins. Copé celebrated victory over his opponent and former Prime Minister François Fillon, after a recount was required. Copé collected 87,388 votes to Fillon’s 87,290- a victory by a mere 98 votes.

The UMP will hope the announcement will bring a measure of stability to the party after a contentious and at times clumsy election, highlighted by claims of victory from both candidates before results were finalized. The uncertainty and political mudslinging had directed attention to former party head and President of the French Republic Nicholas Sarkozy, who while denying any possibility of reentering the ring, had emerged as something of a potential savior to a UMP embroiled in turmoil in recent days.

In a speech shortly after results were announced, Copé quickly moved to extend a hand to his rival in an attempt to reestablish good relations within the embattled center-right party. “It is now time for the republican opposition to get to work,” Copé declared according to Le Monde. “It is in that spirit that I propose François Fillon join me. My hands and arms are wide open.”

Acknowledging both the “numerous irregularities” that plagued the campaign, Copé assured his supporters that he would strive to move beyond disagreements within the UMP and overcome the divisions that continue to plague the party. He concluded by stating that he would take a few days to determine his political course going forwards, with the election now finally concluded.

By Staff Writer and Assistant Editor Tim Suzor

For more information on the election controversy, see The Battle Continues for UMP President

Trackbacks

  1. […] for the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) presidency is still raging. Jean-François Copé considers himself to be the winner of the election that took place on Monday, November 19, but his opponent, François Fillon, still refuses to […]

  2. […] or R-UMP. The two contestants have yet to settle the race for president of the UMP party, a vote that was meant to be resolved on November 18, before Cope was accused of voter fraud. In this light, Cope’s dispute of the socialist […]

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