Segolene Royal, the French Socialists' unsuccessful 2007 presidential candidate, threw her support Wednesday behind her former romantic partner, ex-party head Francois Hollande, ahead of the party's primary runoff.
As the first-place candidate in last week's first-round race, Hollande is facing off against he current Socialist party head, Martine Aubry on Sunday. The two are holding a televised debate later Wednesday.
Royal _ who came in fourth in the first round, with just 7 percent of the vote _ said she was giving her "total support to Francois Hollande" in a bid to strengthen the left's chances of beating the President Nicolas Sarkozy's governing center-right UMP party.
"I decided to assume my responsibilities and to help the left to victory as effectively as possible," Royal said in a statement. "We don't have the right to miss out on our rendezvous with the French people, who are waiting for us."
Hollande and Royal had four children together, although they never married. Their high-profile relationship unraveled during her 2007 campaign for president, which she lost to the now-wildly unpopular Sarkozy.
Though Royal's support is no doubt helpful for Hollande _ a bespectacled 57-year-old whose years of experience as a lawmaker and center-left views are palatable to a broad swath of French voters _ it's the primary's third place finisher, Arnaud Montebourg, who is widely viewed as the possible Socialist kingmaker.
Montebourg has said he could come out in favor of Hollande or Aubry following Wednesday's 90-minute debate.
France's two-round presidential race is taking place in April and May.
Suspect in Custody After Shooting at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood UPDATE: Three People Have Died, Shooter Identified | Christine Rousselle
The Myth of "4 Million Conservative Voters Stayed Home in 2012" | RedState
- What Is Your U.S. Income Percentile Ranking?
Importing Terrorism and Other American Values | Human Events
We should definitely challenge Ted Cruz’s citizenship if he is elected president
Colorado Springs police confirm ID of Planned Parenthood shooting suspect; Mugshot released
John Hawkins - 15 Excerpts That Show How Radical, Weird And Out of Touch College Campuses Have Become
S.C. Woman Outdraws, Outshoots, And Kills CraigsList Robber - Bearing Arms - Guns Saving Lives, South Carolina