Hollande caught in storm over partner’s tweet

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French President Francois Hollande faced his first political storm Wednesday as his rightwing opponents looked to exploit an incendiary tweet by his partner just days ahead of a parliamentary election.
The tweet by unofficial first lady Valerie Trierweiler wishing luck to an election opponent of Segolene Royal — Hollande’s ex-partner and mother of their four children — was also rounded on by the French press as an “embarrassment” that threatened to damage the Socialists’ electoral chances.
“France’s First Gaffe”, leftwing daily Liberation wrote on its front page beside a photograph of Trierweiler, saying she had put Hollande “in a delicate position”.
Rightwing daily Le Figaro went further, saying the Twitter comment had sown “amazement and confusion” among Hollande’s Socialist Party and would have “heavy consequences”.
Royal, who failed in a 2007 presidential bid, is standing against Olivier Falorni, a Socialist dissident, for a parliamentary seat in the western town of La Rochelle.
Hollande has publicly thrown his weight behind Royal, but in the tweet on Tuesday Trierweiler wished Falorni “good luck” and praised his “selfless commitment” to the people of La Rochelle.