Friday, May 04, 2007

France: Royal implies that African immigrants will react violently if Sarkozy wins


Socialist Segolene Royal warned Friday that France could slide into violence if Nicolas Sarkozy wins the presidency as the rightwinger extended his poll lead on the final day of the hard fought campaign.

Royal, seeking to become France's first woman leader, said she was "issuing an alert" that a Sarkozy victory could "trigger violence and brutalities across the country."

"His candidacy is dangerous. That is why I am asking voters to think twice," Royal told RTL radio in one of her final declarations of one of the most hotly contested elections in decades.

Three new polls showed Sarkozy pulling ahead of Royal with 53 percent and up to 54.4 percent of votes against 47 and 45.5 percent for the Socialist.

The candidate of President Jacques Chirac's governing party gained between half a percentage point to 2.5 points from polls done before a heated television debate Wednesday evening.

Royal described her rival as "the candidate of the hard right", backed by big media and financial interests and who had been unable to campaign freely in the troubled suburbs.

Sarkozy dimissed Royal's attacks as "outrageous" and said she was upset by her drop in the polls.

"It must be the polls. It's so outrageous," Sarkozy said of her comments in an interview with Europe1 radio. "She is getting tense, stiffer, because she feels the ground shifting."

Sarkozy, the former interior minister, is seen as a divisive figure by many on the left and in the high-immigrant suburbs for his tough talk on controling immigration and restoring law and order.

His description of young delinquents in the suburbs as "racaille" -- "rabble" -- turned him into an enemy of the Arab and African residents of the major cities that exploded into rioting in late 2005.

This just shows how stupid and desperate Segolene Royal has become.


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