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Friday, 8 April 2011

Jean-Louis Borloo announces split from UMP - Rama Yade follows

The former ecology minister and leader of the liberal-centrist Parti radical (Radical party), Jean-Louis Borloo has announced that his party is leaving the governing centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP).

Jean-Louis Borloo (screenshot from France 2's À vous de juger

The declaration came during Thursday night's edition of the political magazine À vous de juger on France 2 television.

Stressing that he wanted to "create a social and humanitarian majority" Borloo said his party was leaving the UMP and would join a new Republican alliance along with former defence minister Hervé Morin's Nouveau Centre and other centrist parties.

"The formal proposal will be submitted to the Radical party's congress on May 14 or 15 but you can now consider that there will be a new formation, a Republican alliance," he said.

Borloo didn't say whether he would run as a candidate for the 2012 presidential elections but all the signs are there and he emphasised throughout the interview that the new party had an "obligation" to contest both next year's races for the Elysée palace and the National Assembly and would "represent and distinct alternative" to the UMP and Socialist Party.

His decision came perhaps as no surprise as rumours had been rife for several months that he would split with the UMP, ever since he left the government in November after being passed over for the post of prime minister in the long-awaited reshuffle.

Rama Yade (screenshot from BFM TV)

And he wasn't the only former minister to announce he was leaving the UMP.

On Friday morning Rama Yade, followed suit.

"It's a page in political history that is turning," Yade said on BFM TV in reference to Borloo's announcement the previous evening.

"The left wing of those within the UMP needs to be heard, respected and have its views considered," she said stressing that she had felt the need to be true to her own values and she could no longer accept some of the policy statements and comments being made by government ministers.

How many others from the UMP, unhappy with the party's seeming insistence to go after the potential voters for the far-right Front National, will follow?

And if Borloo decides to run for office, will he present a threat to the chances of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, making it through to the second round of next year's elections.

Watch this space.

For the moment though, keep your fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

it was bound to happen. Sarkozy has taken the government too far to the right.

Anonymous said...

Rama rocks! So does Borloo.

Anonymous said...

I hope he runs for president.

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