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France

French press review 12 January 2016

media DR

The French press is still talking about an appeal for the organisation primary in order to choose the 2017 presidential candidate on the left. But most covers of the day's dailies are devoted to the death of David Bowie.

Left-wing Libération is still talking about a call for the organisation of a primary to choose the 2017 left-wing presidential candidate.

The newspaper launched the appeal Monday. In short, Libé and about 50 signatories are hoping a primary will be organised this year which would ideally include the Greens and the Communists, but also the Socialists and President François Hollande.

"It bites on the left," reads Libé's headline. The paper takes a look at the political reactions. In short: The Greens are in if François Hollande is in as well.

The Socialists like the idea, but find it "unlikely to happen". The Communists are in favour of it while Jean-Luc Mélanchon is dead against it.

At a time when Hollande looks more and more like a member of the political centre, Libé thinks the primary could help redefine "what being a member of the left is".

Le Figaro is also talking about the initiative.The right-wing paper wonders what President Hollande might do about it.

According to information gathered by Le Figaro, Hollande would be completely against the idea.

The idea of Hollande, who has been posing as the head of the nation since last November's attacks, participating in a primary is ridiculous, explains the paper. The appeal is really a call against Hollande, says an editorial.

"Defending the idea of a primary is to recognise the idea that a second candidacy of Hollande isn't right," it writes.

There's one issue though, explains Le Figaro. The status of the Socialist Party explicitly calls for the organisation of a primary.

And that might be a good thing, says the editorial: For the other left candidates, being defeated during the primary would be better than being defeated by Hollande during the first round of the presidential elections.

Communist L'Humanité headlines on David Bowie's death. The paper celebrates the life of the singer, who died yesterday at age 69.

L'Huma runs a very interesting interview with Philippe Manoeuvre, the editor of music magazine Rock & Folk.

"He was the only artist who scared me during an interview," says Manoeuvre. "You had to get the master interested, but at the same time he was extremly kind.

"Today, no one is the sole heir of David Bowie's creativity. We're in the world of pure marketing now," he continues. "Bowie composed, wrote and produced. !his pop died with him."

And finally, Le Monde spent some time with Socialist party members. Le Monde's article focuses on Hollande's proposal to strip dual nationals of their nationality if found guilty of terrorism.

According to the newspaper, the move is widely condemned by members of the Socialist party. The paper describes a greater division between the socialist base and the government.

Nevertheless, they did find someone, in Besançon, who is in favour of the measure.

"The measure won't be efficient; [...] we all know that. But it's a symbol and a strong message sent to the public opinion," says Daniel.

And in the words of Socialist MP Jean-David Ciot:

"We let the people believe that in order to live together, we need to be the same. The idea that died is the idea that we can live together and be different."

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