Scuttlebutt and sexism spices up French politics

France’s First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler has vowed to count to 10 before posting anymore tweets following the fallout when she sent a twitter which ruined the political chances of her rival, the French president’s former partner Segolene Royal.

Trierweiler, who has been nicknamed Tweetweiler by the French media, has obviously been punished behind the closed doors of Elysee Palace because she has largely disappeared from public view following the incident.

Her tweet wished good luck to an opponent of Royal in the legislative election last month. It resulted in Royal being beaten by her opponent, Olivier Falorni, despite Mr Hollande publicly backing his former partner.

France has been gripped for weeks with the jealous spat and how Trierweiler’s public snub of her rival undermined the career of Royal, a powerful leader who almost became France’s first female president.

However, Trierweiler’s disappearance from public view  reflects the ire of the President who has been embarrassed by his new partner’s jealous behaviour.

She did not accompany Mr Hollande on the  two big presidential trips this month – the G20 summit in Mexico and to Britain to meet with the Queen.

Instead, Francois Hollande was photographed across the world with Argentine’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

However,  her purgatory was short-lived. Trierweiler once more joined Mr Hollande in the presidential box for the annual military parade for Bastille Day in Paris.

A long-time journalist with Paris Match magazine, Trierweiler, 47, told  French television recently that she will “count to 10 before tweeting’’.

Meanwhile, Hollande tried to reel back media coverage of his household dramas by reinterating the modus operandi of French media to ignore  personal dramas of political leaders.

“Private affairs are resolved in private,’’  said Mr Hollande.  “And I have told this to those close to me so they can scrupulously accept this principle.’’

The President also stated that Trierweiler did not have any official status.

“I think the French people are like me, they want things to be clear, that there is no interference’’ between the President’s private and public life.’’

However, the incident could well be the scent which turns the usually laconic French media into hound-dogs for presidential scuttlebutt.

Meanwhile, French parliamament remains a bastion of unreformed misogyny says The Times.

ANOTHER female French MP, France’s new a housing Minister, Cecile Duflot has been the butt of sexist behaviour in parliament. The 37-year-old has provoked a flurry of comments simply by arriving at parliament wearing a floral dress.

The Times reported that Members of the Union for a Popular Movement (UM P) Nicolas Sarkoizy’s party, were condemned for sexist behaviour when they whistled, hooted and cried “phoaarrr’’ when Ms Duflot, 37, stood to answer questions at the National Assembly.

“I realise more and more than sexism has no frontiers,’’ said Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

“We politicians should set a better example,’’ said the 35-year-old.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem has been featured in some glossy magazines as one of the “babes’’ of President Francois Hollande’s team.

The qujote of the incident comes from the French media: “MPs average age: 55. Mental age 5.”


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