Waving The Bloody Shirt
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Featured Stories | Foreign Affairs — Comments (0) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Things are desperate in the Royal camp (read on):
Socialist opponent Segolene Royal said on Friday that France risks violence and brutality if her opponent right-winger Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election.
On the last day of official campaigning, opinion polls showed Sarkozy enjoyed a commanding lead over Royal, who accused the former interior minister of lying and polarizing France.
"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL radio.
"It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his) candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said.
Pressed on whether there would be actual violence, Royal said: "I think so, I think so," referring specifically to France's volatile suburbs hit by widespread rioting in 2005.
To their credit, the French people don't appear to be falling for any of this. Either that, or--less likely, to be sure--they are in the mood for violence:
Nicolas Sarkozy extended his lead over Segolene Royal in opinion polls two days ahead of the French presidential election as the candidates closed their campaigns with appeals to core supporters.
Sarkozy, who opened a lead of 9 points in a TNS-Sofres survey completed yesterday after a May 2 debate, said last night in the southern city of Montpellier that he'd ``felt France's soul'' during his run for the presidency. The Socialist Royal, speaking in the northern city of Lille, saluted the ``miracle'' of her supporters' energy and pleaded for a massive turnout.
``For Sarkozy to lose, it would require that his electorate fails to turn out,'' said Carine Marce, an associate director at TNS-Sofres. ``That seems unlikely.''
Royal has sought to assemble a coalition ranging from communists to supporters of centrist Francois Bayrou to oppose Sarkozy, the governing-party nominee. Sarkozy, countering critics who say his anti-crime rhetoric and proposal to create a ministry of immigration and national identity make him too polarizing, has portrayed himself as the candidate best able to unite the country and spur the economy.
``He was the favorite before the debate, he didn't lose it, he's probably going to win,'' Roland Lescure, who oversees $100 billion in assets as chief investment officer of Groupama Asset Management in Paris, said in an interview.