Left-wing candidates back Ségolène Royal

23rd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 23, 2007 (AFP) - Five far-left candidates evicted in round one of France's presidential election Sunday urged their supporters to vote for the Socialist Segolene Royal in the run-off against right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy.

PARIS, April 23, 2007 (AFP) - Five far-left candidates evicted in round one of France's presidential election Sunday urged their supporters to vote for the Socialist Segolene Royal in the run-off against right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy, who scored around 30 percent, is seen as having an advantage ahead of round two on May 6, counting on carry-over votes from far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and from the centrist Francois Bayrou.

Royal, who scored around 26 percent, will need the support of her own camp, the entire non-Socialist left and votes from the centre to stand a fighting chance in the run-off.

Four candidates of the radical left and the leader of the Green Party Dominique Voynet, whose combined score reached 10 percent in Sunday's first round, immediately gave the Socialist their official backing.

Olivier Besancenot of the Revolutionary Communist League, Communist Party leader Marie-Georges Buffet, Arlette Laguillier of the Workers' Struggle party and the farmer-activist Jose Bove all came out in Royal's support.

"In the ballot box, we must make sure... we vote against this brutal right, against Nicolas Sarkozy," said Besancenot, who led the pack of far-left contenders with around 4.5 percent of votes. The other five scored between one and two percent of votes each.

All rounded on Sarkozy's apparent success in poaching voters from Le Pen, whose voters he openly courted with a call for a "ministry of immigration and national identity".

Buffet called on "all men and women of the left, all democrats, to vote and make others vote for Segolene Royal on May 6," calling Sarkozy "a dangerous man who has deliberately picked up on the unbearable ideas of the National Front."

Only one, the fringe Trotskyite candidate Gerard Schivardi, who scored 0.4 percent, gave no instructions for the second round.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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