Bayrou will not vote for Sarkozy

3rd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 3, 2007 (AFP) - French centrist Francois Bayrou said in an interview Thursday that he will not vote for rightwinger Nicolas Sarkozy in this weekend's presidential election but did not throw his support behind Segolene Royal.

PARIS, May 3, 2007 (AFP) - French centrist Francois Bayrou said in an interview Thursday that he will not vote for rightwinger Nicolas Sarkozy in this weekend's presidential election but did not throw his support behind Segolene Royal.

"As it stands now, I do not know what I will do, but I know what I will not do," Bayrou said in an interview with Le Monde ahead of Sunday's vote.   "I will not vote for Sarkozy," he said.

Bayrou also said Royal "had done rather well" in the television debate against Sarkozy on Wednesday evening during which she angrily accused him of "political immorality."

Bayrou won the third place in the April 22 first round of voting and his 6.8 million voters hold the key to victory for socialist Royal who is trailing behind Sarkozy in the polls.

The 55-year-old former education minister said Sarkozy "could further rip the social fabric apart", maintaining his harsh criticism of the former interior minister.

Bayrou earlier this week warned that Sarkozy's "taste for intimidation and threats" meant that he would "concentrate power as it has never been" in the presidency.

Twenty-one of the 29 elected members of Bayrou's small Union for French Democracy (UDF) party have joined Sarkozy's camp.

Bayrou, who had campaigned on a platform that rejected the left-right political divide, held a televised debate with Royal on Saturday that was seen as a bid by the socialist to win over his middle-ground voters.

Most polls show Royal will pick up more votes from Bayrou supporters than Sarkozy but not enough to win ultimate victory. Almost a third of centrist voters have yet to make up their minds, or plan to abstain.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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