Francois Fillon

Fresh turmoil for French right as ex-PM contests party vote

Francois Fillon leaves a meeting with his his supporters, who are demanding a recount, after Jean-Francois Cope won the leadership poll by just 98 votes.  Photo: AFP

France’s right-wing UMP opposition was thrown into fresh turmoil on Wednesday after ex-prime minister Francois Fillon announced he was contesting the result of a bitterly disputed leadership race.

Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 11:37am

Cope claims victory in tight fight to lead French opposition

Jean-Francois Cope (C) is congratulated by team campaign members, Michele Tabarot (left) and Luc Chatel (second right) after the announcement of his victory in a battle for the leadership of the opposition right-wing UMP party. Photo:AFP

Rightist Jean-Francois Cope, an ally of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed the leadership of France’s main conservative party on Monday in a closely fought two-way contest marred by mutual accusations of voter fraud.

20 Nov 2012 - 9:02am

Cope, Fillon in acrimonious but undecided battle to succeed Sarkozy

As the candidates argued over the result, an empty podium at the headquarters of the UMP in Paris seemed to say it all. Photo: Reuters

The battle to succeed former president Nicolas Sarkozy at the helm of France's main opposition party, the UMP, was left undecided early yesterday after both candidates claimed victory amid allegations of ballot rigging.

20 Nov 2012 - 4:18am