French president's companion regrets tweet

French First Lady Valerie Trierweiler has said she will now think twice before tweeting, a month after she used the microblogging site to snub her rival, the president's former partner.

Trierweiler sent out a tweet wishing good luck to an opponent of Segolene Royal -- Francois Hollande's ex-partner and mother of their four children -- in last month's legislative election.

The tweet attracted widespread media coverage, with the French press calling it an embarrassment to Hollande shortly after his own victory in the presidential race.

"I will count to 10 before tweeting," Trierweiler, 47, told French television Saturday during a visit with her husband to the north-western city of Brest.

Hollande, 57, had said earlier in the day: "Private affairs are resolved in private. And I have told this to those close to me so they can scrupulously accept this principle."

Saturday was Trierweiler's first day back in front of the TV cameras after largely disappearing from public view after the Twitter incident.

She had not given any interviews or accompanied Hollande on his trips to the G20 summit in Mexico or a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in Britain.

But as France celebrated Bastille Day, she joined Hollande in the presidential box at the annual military parade in Paris.

She also accompanied him on his trip to Brest and another to Avignon in the south-east on Sunday.

She was all smiles but kept silent except for her Twitter remark.

The flurry of commentary around Trierweiler's tweet has raised questions in France about the public role of the president's partner.

Trierweiler, a journalist who is still working for her longtime employer, Paris Match magazine -- though she has given up the politics beat for the culture section -- said before Hollande took office that she did not want to be a "figurehead".

In Saturday's interview, the president said Trierweiler does not have any official "status".

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

"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, he added.

There has long been speculation of intense rivalry between Royal and Trierweiler, who acquired the nickname Tweetweiler over the affair.

Hollande stood loyally by Royal, 58, 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 mother of three.

"Francois Hollande needed to speak out. He did it in a way that was precise, clear, square, respectful and authoritative," one member of Hollande's inner circle told AFP of the president's interview Saturday.

Royal's election opponent, Olivier Falorni -- who was kicked out of the Socialist Party for refusing to step aside to allow Royal to run in his La Rochelle fiefdom -- went on to trounce her with 63 percent of the vote.

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