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Kerry steals US Democrats caucus in Paris

Published on 09/02/2004

PARIS, Feb 7 (AFP) - US Democratic Party supporters living in Paris were jubilant on Saturday after they attracted a record turn-out for a candidate selection meeting, which resulted in the Massachusetts senator John Kerry getting the lion's share of votes.

 “It was wild,” said Connie Borde, who chairs the Paris branch of Democrats Abroad, the day after a caucus meeting which attracted some than 800 people rather than the 300 initially expected.

Kerry obtained 310 votes out of 517 cast during Friday’s meeting, which was held in the American Church in Paris after a hall that had been booked nearby turned out to be far too small for all the attendees.

Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont who was an early favourite to win the Democratic nomination but who has lost ground in recent days, came in a distant second with 87 votes and former General Wesley Clark was third with 59, said Anne Lechartier, the local group’s secretary.

The Paris caucus was one of the first in a series of worldwide meetings of Democrats Abroad, events which will play a modest but significant role in deciding which Democratic hopeful is selected to oppose President George W. Bush in the election next November.

The total number of US citizens living outside their home country is estimated at some six million.

Connie Borde was in no doubt as to what motivated most of the Americans who flocked to Friday’s meeting.

“People hate Bush,” she told AFP.


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