Thursday 19 April 2018

Sarkozy to reshuffle after stinging elections

John Lichfield in Paris

PRESIDENT Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to rebuild his government this week after what seemed certain to be a stinging defeat in the second round of regional elections last night.

The seriousness of the reshuffle will depend on the extent of the rout of Mr Sarkozy's centre-right party and its allies. Prime Minister Francois Fillon is expected to offer his resignation today.

One of President Sarkozy's senior aides, Claude Gueant, the secretary general of the Elysee Palace, indicated on Saturday that there would be a government reshuffle but he insisted that it would be "modest" and "technical".

Other centre-right sources said that they expected at least a couple of senior heads to fall.

Voters were picking regional councillors and presidents in 22 regions of Metropolitan France, including Corsica, and four in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. A resurgent left seemed certain to take at least 21 regions in France proper.

Although such a victory will not directly affect Mr Sarkozy's capacity to govern at the national level, it could make the last two years of his presidential term deeply uncomfortable. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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