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Saturday, 20 November, 1999, 05:47 GMT
French party seeks new leader

Members of France's main Gaulist party, the RPR, are voting today in the first round of elections for a new leader.

The RPR's caretaker president, Nicolas Sarkozy, resigned following the party's disastrous showing in June's European elections.

The BBC Paris correspondent says that whichever of the four candidates finally wins, they will have the difficult task of revitalising a demoralised party, which has grown apart from its founder, French President, Jacques Chirac.

The RPR - the party most closely identified with the post-war leader, General de Gaulle - is no longer the leading political force on the French right.

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