'Third Man' refuses to back Sarkozy or Royal

25th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 25, 2007 (AFP) - Francois Bayrou, the defeated centrist whose 6.8 million voters are key to France's presidential race, Wednesday refused to endorse socialist Segolene Royal or right winger Nicolas Sarkozy in the May 6 run-off.

PARIS, April 25, 2007 (AFP) - Francois Bayrou, the defeated centrist whose 6.8 million voters are key to France's presidential race, Wednesday refused to endorse socialist Segolene Royal or right winger Nicolas Sarkozy in the May 6 run-off.

"I will give no instructions for the vote. I consider that the French people who voted for me are citizens free to make their own choice," said Bayrou, whose votes are courted by the Socialist Royal and right-winger Sarkozy.

Bayrou, whose credibility was boosted by his performance in Sunday's first round, announced the creation of a new political party, the Democrat Party, to contest legislative elections in June.

The centrist launched a scathing attack on both candidates, saying they were unable to heal France's ailing democratic institutions, ease social tensions or spur economic growth.

"Nicolas Sarkozy, by his close links to the business world and media powers, his taste for intimidation and threat, will concentrate powers as they have never been," Bayrou charged.

"By his character and the themes he has chosen, risks worsening the social rift through a policy that benefits the richest.

"Segolene Royal appears to have better intentions in terms of democracy. She seems more attentive to the fabric of our society.

"But her programme is full of state intervention, perpetuating the illusion that it is up to the state to do everything, that it can do everything.

"This programme goes exactly against the steps needed to give our country back its creativity and balance."

Sarkozy and Royal topped the first round of the election last Sunday to go through to the deciding vote on May 6. The winner will replace President Jacques Chirac as head of state.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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