PARIS: Henri Weber has been named head of communications for the
French Socialist Party (PS), the political party of Prime Minister
With municipal elections being held on 11 and 18 March, Weber has been
working round-the-clock attempting to help the socialists win a number
of key races.
The most notable is that for the mayorship of Paris, in which socialist
Bertrand Delanoe is favoured to defeat Gaullist candidate Philippe
Seguin, a victory which would give the PS control of Paris for the first
time in 24 years.
He is also handling the communications for a number of key provincial
election battles, among them that for the mayorship of Lille, in which
Martine Aubry is favoured, but also the mayorship of Avignon, a post
which the PS would like to see won by present minister of solidarity and
work Elisabeth Guigou.
When municipal elections are over, Weber is expected to start the ball
rolling for Jospin's presidential bid.
Jospin is running against head of state Jacques Chirac. Presidential
elections are to be held in the spring of 2002.
Weber was until now the PS's specialist in the field of arts and
Lionel Jospin very nearly defeated Jacques Chirac in a run-off during
the presidential election in April 1995. Jospin had tried to rally
support with a campaign focusing on France's domestic problems,
especially the high unemployment rate.