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FN's Marine Le Pen says she will vote neither Sarkozy nor Hollande in second round

Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Far right Front National leader Marine Le Pen has strongly suggested that those who voted for her in the first round of the Presidential elections should vote “blanc” in Sunday’s final round.

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She suggested her supporters should not abstain but go to polling stations and signal on their ballots that they do not want either of the two candiadates on offer, the incumbent right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist frontrunner François Hollande.

Le Pen said that since Nicolas Sarkozy had refused any arrangements with her, under which he would block Socialist candidates in legislative elections to facilitate the election of Front National candidates, it indicated that he did not care about the concerns of her voters, and therefore, she suggested, did not merit their votes.

She said she had made her choice to cast a blank vote but that her voters were free to vote as they chose.

In a barnstorming speech, Marine Le Pen delighted her supporters gathered at the Place de l’Opéra in Paris, slamming the campaigns of her first round opponents for failing to address what she said were the real concerns of the French people.

She denounced what she said was the “disdain” shown by the two remaining candidates towards ordinary French people, and declared that her party had imposed its themes on the final round.

She mocked the two big political parties for insisting the Front National was “wrong” for its position on immigration.

She said that whichever of the two remaining candidates were elected, they would be “mere employees” of the European Central Bank and at the mercy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And she said that when her party had talked of “women, children, values” the answers they received were “graphs, curves, figures”

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She strongly condemned Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party and François Hollande’s Socialist Party, both booed by a enthusiastic crowd and declared that Nicolas Sarkozy was now trying to pose as the candidate of the people, after spending five years serving the rich.

Many observers suggest that Marine Le Pen hopes that Nicolas Sarkozy will lose this election, leading to the implosion of the mainstream right grouping in France, the UMP. She reckons this will lead to a re-alignment of the right and she intends to be a key player.

 

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