FORMER Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin has said he will not stand to become the party’s candidate in next year’s presidential election.
Writing on his website, Lionel Jospin said that he had not gathered enough support to stand, leaving the way open for Ségolène Royal.
Although in standing down the 69-year-old said he would not back Royal criticising her for being out of step with socialist principles.
Ségolène Royal enjoys massive support from party members, Jospin was a distant second in opinion polls, but the male-dominated old guard within the Socialists have often attacked her.
And over the coming few weeks a series of televised debates will take place between party contenders, before voting takes place in November to decide who stands for the Socialists in the 2007 presidential elections next May.
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