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Socialists claim Sarkozy illegally uses public money to fund campaign

Reuters/Charles Platiau

France's Socialist Party is to file a complaint accusing President Nicolas Sarkozy of using public funds to finance his re-election campaign, party spokesman Manuel Valls told the Europe 1 radio station on Monday. 


Sarkozy "is not respecting the law. He is organising real (campaign) rallies with public funds," Valls said, pointing to a visit last week to the Fessenheim nuclear power plant where Sarkozy met with workers.

"Enough is enough," said Valls, adding that the party would file the complaint with the national committee on campaign accounts.

The Socialists have repeatedly accused Sarkozy, who is expected to officially declare his candidacy this week, of violating campaign financing rules with a series of official visits throughout the country.

The Socialists filed a similar complaint in December, after which the committee said that Sarkozy would have to include the cost of the meetings in his campaign if they were used to promote his electoral programme.

France will vote in the first round of a presidential election on 22 April, followed by an expected second-round run-off on May 6.

Opinion polls have shown Socialist candidate François Hollande with a strong lead over Sarkozy.


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