The interim President of France, M. Alain Poher, met the Socialist leader M. Francois Mitterand?
CV ZOOM IN Mitterand leaves Elysee and walks to waiting newsmen
CU talks to press
"Je viens devoir..."
". . .. publique."
M. MITTERAND: "I have just met M. Poher as he wished to see me before leaving the Elysee Palace, but the subject of our conversations has not been made public.
REPORTER: "M. Poher has suggested that you might be consulted from time to time by M. Valery Giscard d'Estaing".
M. MITTERAND: "That is for M. Giscard d'Estaing to decide, and for me. It is a fact that M. Poher is worried about the relations between the opposition and the majority, the opposition and the government. Our conversation was only an exchange of views. He becomes again the President of the Senate and I become again First Secretary of the Socialist party and Member of Parliament. The "statute of the opposition" is an ambitious expression. In a democracy, it is living with normal rights concerned with every fraction of public opinion."
Initials SC/028 SC/053
A translation of M. Mitterand's remarks in French follows.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The interim President of France, M. Alain Poher, met the Socialist leader M. Francois Mitterand on Friday (24 May) in what was seen as a move towards establishing an official leader of the Opposition ini the National Assembly. M. Mitterand the candidate of the Left, was beaten by a narrow margin in the elections last Sunday (19 May) in which M. Giscard d'Estaing was elected President of France.
The new President is expected to announce his new Prime Minister and Government on Tuesday (26 May), the day after he is officially installed as President. He is reported to be anxious to establish a system of government which will give some say at Government level to his political opponents. In a victory speech on Sunday (19 May), M. Giscard d'Estaing promised M. Mitterand that he would have a role to play in the new administrati???
After the meeting with M. Poher at the Elysee Palace in Paris, M. Mitterand talked briefly to newsmen about their conversation.
SYNOPSIS: The newsmen were anxious to know if the discussions were about government consultations with M. Mitterand when the new President, Giscard d'Estaing forms his government.
M. Mitterand said that if there were to be consultations, it was for himself and M. d'Estaing to decide. But he confirmed that M. Poher was worried about the relations between the Opposition and the majority, and the Opposition and the government.
M. Mitterand emphasised that his conversation with M. Poher had been only an exchange of views. He described a 'statute of the Opposition' as an ambitious expression. A democracy, the went on, is living with normal rights concerned with every fraction of public opinion.
M. Giscard d'Estaing is expected to announce his government on Tuesday, following his installation as President on Monday. His narrow margin of two per cent in the Presidential election over M. Mitterand is reported to have made the new President anxious to establish a system of government in which his political opponents would have some say in policy at a government level.