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French Socialist presidential candidate decries ruling conservative party's tactics

French Socialist presidential candidate decries ruling conservative party's tactics

Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal questioned the tactics of the governing conservative party and pledged to raise the level of political debate going into France's presidential elections in April.
Addressing supporters in the French Caribbean island of Martinique on Friday, Royal urged voters punish the ruling UMP party at the ballot box.
"For several months now ... those who should insure the truth transform it, those who should guarantee the transparency and the smooth functioning of the institutions are not doing their duties and are even using the services of the state for personal ends," Royal said on day two of a Caribbean campaign swing that will take her Saturday to the neighboring island of Guadeloupe. The region has a potential half-million votes.
The comments come days after a French newspaper reported that Royal's rival, UMP presidential candidate and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy order spies to dig up dirt on Royal's team. The weekly Le Canard Enchaine, a satirical newspaper also known for its investigations, citing unnamed officials, reported that Sarkozy's office asked an intelligence agency to probe Bruno Rebelle, who is the former director of Greenpeace France and Royal's environment adviser.
"The competition is harsh, but I do not fear it," Royal told supporters in Martinique. "Despite the low blows, we are going to maintain the quality of the debate and the values we defend."
Sarkozy and Royal have been trading barbs at a growing tempo over the past week, setting the tone for what appears to be an increasingly nasty campaign ahead of the two-round vote in April and May.
Polls show the two candidates running neck-and-neck.


Updated : 2021-06-25 11:49 GMT+08:00