Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dirty Tricks in French Presidential campaign.

According to a poll by Ipsos published in the medias, 32 per cent of respondents would support the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) candidate in the upcoming French Presidential Elections. So Nicolas Sarkozy remains the top candidate in the ballots. In the meantime, the french Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal has called on President Jacques Chirac to restore some peace and order in the dirty tricks media campaign.

She alleged that Nicolas Sarkozy misused his powers of office by ordering the domestic intelligence agency to investigate and to dig dirt on the former head of Greenpeace France, Bruno Rebelle, who now advises Segolene Royal on the environment in her campaign team. More, Ms Royal's brother, Antoine, now declares that French intelligence also investigated him after he acknowledged that his brother, Gerard, was a French secret agent who was involved in the famous and scandalous blow up of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in 1985.

Recently, Ms Royal has seen her own campaign damaged by a series of so called "gaffes" in the foreign policy. As when she sparkled Canadians anger after apparently calling for independence for the French-speaking province of Quebec. As the great President Charles de Gaulle used to set some scandalous buzz in the foreign policy of France in the sixties. A French comedian telephoned her claiming to be the prime minsiter of Quebec to get some easy speacking from Ms Royal. The whole has been thrown publicly to mock her, when Ms Royal's team have immediately attempted to laugh it off. During her recent visit to Beijing, Segolene Royal sparkled a huge uproar in the french medias when she dared to praise the Chinese justice system.

Between the two leaders of the campaign, the would-be third man, François Bayrou is now reaching the third place in the opinion polls. The UDF leader unveiled the program of the centre, which is based around the 6 "e"s - employment, ecology, education, economy, exclusion and Europe. Bayrou has now 12% of voting intentions and reach the edge which threaten the leading couple Sarko-Sego. Bayrou begins to appeal to those who have had enough with the ancient bi-partism system and huge media supports. Bayrou promises to eradicate unemployment and to improve the environment by the mean of an ecological policy. He told he will make his government a unifying one from right wing to left wing, leading from the centre and throwing aside the extremists of the far-right and far-left and communism. As one said recently in the media "Le Monde", "Bayrou may have the charisma of a coffee table, but...".

Previously, the position of the "third candidate" was held by the far-right party, the National Front's Jean-Marie Le Pen. But, Le Pen has recently seen his poll numbers shrink from 17 % to 10% and even to 9%. While Bayrou has risen to 16 % digits which is the double as his previous rut at 8%. The fight is so tough that any new surprise candidate (why not Chirac ?) or a new scandal coming on both side of the couple Sarko-Sego, could cast Bayrou in the head running. The cast is very machiavelian. Because, the far-right anti-abortion and anti-homosexual hard line has been moderated. And the strategy of Mr Le Pen is reported to have softened the whole look of the FN in the past weeks, and under the influence of his daughter Marine his probable successor. The image of their campaign now includes a young black woman in some of its controversial advertising.

Le Pen, now aged 78, is preparing to fight actually his last presidential campaign. And the veteran of the Front National made it clear to the front-runner, Nicolas Sarkozy, that he will do everything to down the Sarkozy campaign if he does not get the 500 nominations needed from mayors to enter the election. So, as one can see, the campaign reaches some dirty tricks roleplay and machiavelian strategie behind the scene. At this point of the beginning, the race is open and nobody could tell, who will be the winner.

Demian West

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