PARIS - The battle rages on to succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as leader of France's main conservative political party. A week has passed since the razor-thin vote to head up the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) that left the country's center-right opposition in a potentially party-splitting crisis.
The two candidates, François Fillon and Jean-François Copé, continue to wrangle over who is going replace the former French president, after an attempt at mediation by longtime UMP heavyweight and Sarkozy's foreign minister Alain Juppé failed to resolve the deadlock Sunday.
On Tuesday, Fillon announced that he and his supporters were forming a new center-right group within the UMP -- while at the same time demanding a new vote after a contested tally showed him just a few dozen votes short.
Power grabs, treason, fraud, threats, unexpected returns… this kind of backstabbing machinations reminded some in France of the TV series Dallas, whose nefarious antihero J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) died last week.
["UMP, your ruthless universe [a spoof of the lyrics of Dallas’ French theme song]
J.R. died on Friday but ‘Dallas’ goes on: Juppé ends his mediation as Copé and Fillon still bicker over party leadership"]
Desperate Housewives + Dallas +Benny Hill = #UMP— Maxime Souillat (@beaucouplus) November 21, 2012
L'hommage de l' #UMP à Dallas pour marquer la mort de JR, c'est quand même super émouvant.— Fabienne Sintes (@FabSintes) November 25, 2012
[UMP's homage to J.R.'s death, how very moving]
Sarkozy himself has been asked to come out of his relative silence, step up and help find a solution to the political impasse.
[Juppé considers resuscitating J.R. (i.e., Sarkozy) to solve the problem]
[Nicolas Sarkozy in Camargue in 2007 - Photo: sarkozy.fr / photomontage]
Enjoy the montage below [in French] of the Copé/Fillon feud, synched to the song that used to introduce the series when it aired in France -- yes, the French even have their own Dallas theme song!
And as the drama series wouldn't be complete without a bit of innuendo, François Fillon's name for his new UMP faction makes the acronym: RUMP.