Saturday, April 28, 2012

François Hollande

François Gérard Georges Hollande (born 12 August 1954) is a French politician who was the First Secretary of the French Socialist Party from 1997 to 2008. He has also been a Deputy of the National Assembly of France for Corrèze's 1st Constituency since 1997, and previously represented that seat from 1988 to 1993. He was the Mayor of Tulle from 2001 to 2008, and has been the President of the General Council of Corrèze since 2008.

On 16 October 2011, Hollande was nominated to be the Socialist and Left Radical Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. His main opponent is President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Early Life and Background
Hollande was born in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy to a middle-class family. His mother, Nicole Frédérique Marguerite Tribert, was a social worker (1927-2009), and his father, Georges Gustave Hollande, an ear, nose, and throat doctor, who "had once run for the extreme right in local politics". The surname "Hollande" is "believed to come from Calvinist ancestors who escaped the Netherlands in the 16th century and took the name of their old country."

He attended Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle boarding school, then HEC Paris, École nationale d'administration, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. He graduated from ENA in 1980. He lived in the United States in the summer of 1974 while he was a university student. Immediately after graduating, he was employed to work as a councillor in the Court of Audit.

Political career
After volunteering to work for François Mitterrand's ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the 1974 presidential election when he was a student, Hollande joined the Socialist Party five years later. He was quickly spotted by Jacques Attali, a senior adviser to Mitterrand, who arranged for Hollande to stand for election to the French National Assembly in 1981 in Corrèze against future President Jacques Chirac, who was then the Leader of the Rally for the Republic, a Neo-Gaullist party. Hollande lost to Chirac in the first round, although he would go on to become a Special Adviser to the newly-elected President Mitterrand, before serving as a staffer for Max Gallo, the government's spokesman. After becoming a Municipal Councillor for Ussel in 1983, he contested Corrèze for a second time in 1988, this time being elected to the National Assembly. Hollande lost his bid for re-election to the National Assembly in the so-called "blue wave" of the 1993 election, described as such due to the amount of seats gained by the Right at the expense of the Socialist Party.

Personal Life
For over thirty years, his partner was fellow Socialist politician Ségolène Royal, with whom he has four children – Thomas (1984), Clémence (1985), Julien (1987) and Flora (1992). In June 2007, just a month after Royal's defeat in the French presidential election of 2007, the couple announced that they were separating.

A few months after his split from Ségolène Royal was announced, a French website published details of a relationship between Hollande and French journalist Valérie Trierweiler. This was controversial as some considered this to be a breach of France's strict stance on politicians' personal privacy. In November 2007, Valérie Trierweiler confirmed and openly discussed her relationship with Hollande in an interview with French weekly Télé 7 Jours.

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