France’s socialist militants ponder party’s future

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Around ten people were gathered around the television set on Thursday, January 12th, to watch the first televised debate of the seven candidates contesting the socialist primary to choose a candidate for this year’s presidential election. Though the mood at the Socialist Party’s offices in Roubaix, near Lille in northern France, was not one of great impatience, party activists were nonetheless clearly curious about what they would see. “Because of [President] Hollande’s [declaration] on December 1st that he would not be a candidate, and then the break for the holidays, the primary campaign will have been a lot shorter that the Right’s,” says Romain. “It was time for a debate to take place.”

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