INTRODUCTION: The French Socialist Party, at a special congress on Friday (23 January) chose Francois Mitterrand as its candidate for the Presidential elections in three months time.
LV INTERIOR Francois Mitterrand walks to speakers' rostrum, applauded
LV & SV Audience claps in unison (2 shots)
CU Mitterrand speaking in French
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The French Socialist Party, at a special congress on Friday (23 January) chose Francois Mitterrand as its candidate for the Presidential elections in three months time. M. Mitterrand is 64, and this will be his third attempt to become President of France.
SYNOPSIS: He challenged President Charles de Gaulle in 1965, and forced him to a second ballot; and was narrowly beaten by Valery Giscard d'Estaing in 1974. He has had no serious rival for the nomination since M. Michel Rocard withdrew last November.
M. Mitterrand made it clear that one of his main lines of attack would be to accuse President Giscard of abusing his powers. He said "Democracy is in danger. We are living in a disguised monarchy." And the Socialist manifesto, published just after the congress, accused the President of "monopolising everything and meddling in everything." Opinion polls have shown Mr. Mitterrand steadily gaining in popularity. A few months ago, he was lagging by nine points. Now the polls put him only two or three points behind President Giscard if, as expected, neither wins an outright majority in the first ballot on April 26th and they fight out a second round two weeks later.