Article written the 4th of January
The rumour has been existed for a moment and seems to confirm. Ségolène Royal is preparing her come-back in politics.
The one who was widely defeated by Olivier Falorni, a non-official socialist candidate during the run-off of the latest French legislative elections at La Rochelle, seems increasingly to come back in the front-stage and might get into the Ayrault Cabinet just after a possible reshuffle. Some people even insist on her probable appointment as minister of Justice, replacing the tenured Christiane Taubira, foreseen to join the French Constitutional Court.
Although it is a rumour, a possible come-back of the current president of the Poitou-Charentes Region is making a splash. Indeed, it is needed to remind Ségolène Royal was the Socialist Party candidate for the 2007 presidential election and an important executive within the party she tried to be elected as leader in 2008 and in which her personality and her ideas seduced as annoyed both with the activists and the executive team.
Widely defeated during the 2011 socialist candidate selection process for the 2012 presidential election, Ségolène Royal quickly showed her loyalty backing François Hollande. In return, she was almost sure to be speaker, becoming the first chairwoman of the French National Assembly. Nonetheless, Olivier Falorni and the disastrous tweet of Valérie Trierweiler (François Hollande’s current partner) definitely questioned this dream.
Since this painful moment, the political situation of Ségolène Royal is a burning issue for François Hollande who needs a gathered and organized Socialist Party in the perspective of 2017, year of the next presidential election. The one who put her personal bitterness aside on the behalf of the unity of her party was not still awarded for her involvement during the presidential campaign. Discreet so far, the ex-socialist candidate clearly puts her ambitions forward and wants to play a major role within the ruling majority.
That probably explains why she refused some prestigious positions as the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) presidency for instance, to clearly put her new objectives forward. As she says herself, Ségolène Royal is a woman of action, always taking initiative and who needs be in the frontline. Assets that some French politics specialists and some political friends as Dominique Bertinotti and Guillaume Garot (members of the Ayrault Cabinet) put largely forward because of the special link Royal has with the popular class in her proximity and her speaking.
What is more, a probable come-back of Ségolène Royal would sound as a revenge for her and vis-à-vis Valérie Trierweiler. Indeed, the one who thought “break” the political career of Ségolène Royal, finally got the contrary she wanted, even preserving her rival. In other words, Ségolène Royal, not being MP and speaker of the French Parliament, became a political joker for François Hollande insofar as her political intuition may be an important asset, at the moment a lot of French people are still wondering on the strategy led by the president and his Prime minister, especially at the Left. A possible arrival of Ségolène Royal might be useful and precious and it should be difficult for the First Lady to veto, after the personal and political consequences of her support tweet to Olivier Falorni.
It’s too soon to know if Ségolène Royal will get into the Ayrault government or not, especially as it is a rumour but a persisting and relevant rumour. What is more, if such a hypothesis seems credible, there are still some objections regarding her appointment, some people at the Elysée fearing the presence is harshly criticized because of the relation between Royal and François Hollande. But once again, Ségolène Royal showed that she was still available and also showed she was still useful, not to say indispensable.