PARIS: French prime minister Lionel Jospin has named Yves Colmou as
his latest communications adviser.
Colmou replaces Manuel Valls, who on 18 March was elected the mayor of
Evry, a southern suburb of Paris.
Colmou's remit is to oversee all PR and communications surrounding the
prime minister and his image on a day-to-day basis.
Another large part of his brief is to liaise closely with the prime
minister's communications staff, headed by Bernard Candiard and Philippe
Valls is widely held responsible for Jospin's election as prime minister
in 1997, and his relatively good showing in opinion polls since
Sources in the prime minister's office say Valls will continue to advise
Jospin, but on a purely private and personal basis.
It is believed that Jospin will announce his candidacy for the French
presidential elections, which are to be held in the spring of 2002,
later this year.
According to a BVA-Paris Match poll published recently, Jospin would
defeat incumbent president Jacques Chirac by 52 per cent to 48 per cent
if elections were held now.
Industry rumours say Jospin partly encouraged Valls to go for the
mayorship of Evry in order to make him more accessible to Jospin, who,
it is thought, wants to organise his campaign outside of the confines of
his official residence, the Matignon Palace.