Friday, May 04, 2007

weazl's lady resorting to fearmongering. A sign of desperation, not a way to win voters (in this case) and not the moral highground

France's Royal warns of violence if Sarkozy wins

By Anna Willard and Kerstin Gehmlich

PARIS (Reuters) - Socialist candidate Segolene Royal said on Friday France risked plunging into brutality and violence if right-wing frontrunner Nicolas Sarkozy wins Sunday's presidential election.

With opinion polls showing Sarkozy increasing his lead ahead of the second round run-off, Royal sought to raise the stakes on the last day of official campaigning, accusing her opponent of lying and manipulating the media.

"I think that choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice. I do not want France to shift towards a system of brutality," Royal told RTL radio.

Opinion polls have shown Sarkozy building a commanding lead against Royal following a fiery television debate between the two on Wednesday night, when he questioned whether she had the right temperament to become president.

A TNS Sofres poll published on Friday showed him at 54.5 percent, compared to 45.5 percent for the Socialist, while an IPSOS poll put him on 54 percent against 46 percent for Royal.

Refusing to concede defeat, Royal warned of potential violence in the suburbs if her rival won, accusing him of polarizing France during his time as interior minister in the outgoing conservative government.

Sarkozy has presented himself as a tough crime-buster, but she said street violence had risen in recent years, adding her opponent could no longer set foot in some high-rise suburbs for fear of provoking a riot.

"When a candidate has so much nerve to tell lies and counter-truths and cannot even go everywhere in the country, then yes, I think this candidature is a risk."

Sarkozy laughed off her comments.

"She's not in a good mood this morning. It must be the opinion polls," he told Europe 1 radio, sounding relaxed but refusing to cry victory ahead of Sunday evening when voting stations close.

Campaigning must end at midnight on Friday ahead of voting in some of France's overseas territories on Saturday. The rest of the nation will vote on Sunday.

Both candidates have tried to appeal to voters of other parties to boost their scores ahead of the ballot.

Royal is to spend Friday in Brittany, in western France, where she will be hoping to win over any undecided voters who could help her close the gap with her rival and make her France's first woman president.

Sarkozy, who has topped every opinion poll since leading in the first round vote on April 22, will visit the Alps.

Original article posted here

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