Warring French right affirms Cope as new party leader
PARIS (Reuters) - France's opposition conservative party on Monday affirmed that Jean-Francois Cope had won a November 18 party leadership vote according to an adjusted ballot count carried out after accusations of vote fraud.
An internal committee at the UMP party said revised results showed that Cope, mayor of a town near Paris, had won the party election by 952 votes out of around 173,000 votes cast.
Cope had been declared the winner a week ago with a razor-thin victory of 98 votes, but rival Francois Fillon contested the vote and said he would have won by 26 votes had overseas territories not been omitted by mistake.
The dispute, with each side accusing the other of ballot-stuffing, set off a week of infighting and revealed a deep rift between Fillon's center-right faction and Cope's more hard-right stance.
(Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Jon Hemming)
Time magazine named Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, crediting him with shifting the message of the Catholic Church. Slideshow