FRANCE: The Thirteenth Ballot

As the voting for a President of France dragged on at Versailles, ballot after ballot, the mood of the French press and public grew darker with rage and indignation. In Lyon, citizens hung up a street banner reading: THE CONGRESS OF VERSAILLES IS A MOCKERY. FRENCHMEN OF ALL OPINIONS, SHOW DISAPPROVAL BY PUTTING YOUR FLAGS AT HALF-MAST. What had begun as a "glorious uncertainty" (in the words of mercurial Foreign Minister Georges Bidault) had degenerated into an inglorious ordeal. Although the presidency is supposed to be above politics, it was partisan politics that blocked a choice for so long.

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