Quebec's premier confirms hoax

26th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

MONTREAL, Jan 26, 2007 (AFP) - Quebec's Prime Minister Jean Charest did not speak by phone with French Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal, his spokesman said Friday, confirming that Royal had fallen victim to an impostor.

MONTREAL, Jan 26, 2007 (AFP) - Quebec's Prime Minister Jean Charest did not speak by phone with French Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal, his spokesman said Friday, confirming that Royal had fallen victim to an impostor.

"I don't know whether Ms. Royal was the victim of a hoax, but I can tell you that it was not the prime minister of Quebec who phoned her," Hugo D'Amours, a spokesman for Charest, who is currently attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, told AFP.

Royal, already in hot water over a string of diplomatic gaffes, faced more embarrassment Friday over claims that she was duped by a comedian posing as Quebec's prime minister.

Gerald Dahan -- who is seen as close to Royal's right-wing rival Nicolas Sarkozy -- told French radio he called her on Wednesday claiming to be Charest, to discuss a row over comments in which she appeared to back independence for the French-speaking Canadian province.

The Socialist candidate arrived late for a public debate on Wednesday, announcing to the room that she had just been speaking with the prime minister of Quebec and that he sent his greetings to the assembly.

Royal, who left Friday on a four-day campaign trip to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, was not immediately available for comment, but her campaign team tried to laugh off the incident.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Segolene Royal, Quebec

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