Hallyday supports presidential hopeful Sarkozy

30th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday is publicly rooting for the centre-right frontrunner for next year's presidential elections, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the would-be leader's party said Tuesday.

PARIS, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday is publicly rooting for the centre-right frontrunner for next year's presidential elections, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the would-be leader's party said Tuesday.

The rock icon, his wife Laetitia and son David, also a singer, have "joined the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) and we are very, very happy about it," the centre-right deputy Nadine Moreno told French radio RTL.

Johnny Hallyday -- whose real name is Jean-Philippe Smet -- is expected Sunday in the Mediterranean city of Marseille for a rally of the party, founded by President Jacques Chirac and now headed by the tough-talking Sarkozy.

The 63-year-old singer -- whose concerts still draw huge crowds across the country -- recently said that Sarkozy should "definitely be our president".

"I'm not just going to vote for him, I'm going to give him a hand as far as I can," he said.

Sarkozy, the right-wing favourite to succeed Chirac, has championed a crackdown on crime and a toughening of immigration rules decried by his left-wing opponents during his time as interior minister.

Artists are often called upon to back candidates during French election campaigns, but it is rare for them to come forwards as card-carrying members of any given party.

Sarkozy and Johnny Hallyday were both guests at the wedding of French film star Jean Reno, of "Da Vinci Code" fame, and the French-American model Zofia Borucka, which took place this summer in Provence.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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