Royal set for talks with Bayrou

27th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 27, 2007 (AFP) - Socialist candidate Segolene Royal is to meet with defeated centrist Francois Bayrou on Saturday to try to find common ground that could help her bid to become France's next president.

PARIS, April 27, 2007 (AFP) - Socialist candidate Segolene Royal is to meet with defeated centrist Francois Bayrou on Saturday to try to find common ground that could help her bid to become France's next president.

Royal said Friday that "the debate will take place as media organisations have proposed that it take place and it will therefore be held on Saturday afternoon, in a very simple manner."

Bayrou came third in the first round of voting on Sunday and his 6.8 million voters could tilt the balance in favour of Royal, who took the second spot to frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy.

Royal and Sarkozy are heading into the second and final round of voting on May 6 with polls showing that the former interior minister has a slight edge over the Socialist candidate.

Bayrou has refused to endorse either of the candidates but agreed to hold a debate with Royal on condition that it be open to the media.

A television station had agreed to broadcast the meeting, only to withdraw its offer later.

Royal accused Sarkozy of putting pressure on the television station, saying "it's a problem when a candidate to the presidency not only refuses to hold debate but also tries to prevent debates by others."

"These are methods from another age. They say a lot about a certain amount of conniving with powerful financial media interests," she said.

"We will nevertheless not be silenced," Royal added.

Royal said that the debate on Saturday could be aired on two radio stations, Radio Monte Carlo (RMC-Info) and radio Business FM.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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