Hollande tells partner to keep personal life 'private'

France's President Francois Hollande (C) walks past his companion Valerie Trierweiler (L) as he arrives on the reviewing stand on the Place de la Concorde before the start of the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris July 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / BENOIT TESSIER

PARIS: French President Francois Hollande said Saturday that he had told those close to him to resolve personal issues in private, reacting to an incendiary tweet by his partner Valerie Trierweiler.

"Private affairs are resolved in private. And I have told this to those close to me so they can scrupulously accept this principle," Hollande said during a televised interview with TF1 and France 2 on Bastille Day.

The tweet at the height of France's parliamentary election campaign last month saw Trierweiler backing an opponent of Segolene Royal, the president's ex-partner and mother of their four children.

The tweet received widespread media coverage with the French press calling it an "embarrassment" to Hollande.

"I think the French people are like me, they want things to be clear, that there is no interference" between the president's private and public life, Hollande said.

Hollande also sought to douse speculation that Trierweiler, who attended the Bastille Day military parade with the president, was not appearing with him after the tweet.

"She will be present at my side when protocol demands," Hollande said.

There has long been speculation of intense rivalry between Royal and Trierweiler.

Hollande stood loyally by Royal as she battled Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency in the 2007 race, but he had reportedly been in a relationship since 2005 with Trierweiler, a twice-divorced 47-year-old mother of three.





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