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Le Pen may be Sarkozy slayer
Far-right leader tilts toward leftist
Question of the Day
“Sarkozy has lost. He won’t be re-elected,” Ms. Le Pen said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.
Her party’s No. 2, Louis Aliot, said he would cast a blank ballot because Mr. Sarkozy has “insulted” the National Front. Speaking on France-Inter radio, Mr. Aliot predicted a “remaking” of the French right after the presidential election.
Ms. Le Pen “wants to change the image of the party to arrive in power herself,” Ms. Mayer said.
Ms. Le Pen has asked the UMP leadership to announce publicly whether it will endorse her candidates or Socialist ones in constituencies where a far right and leftist candidate face off in the parliamentary elections.
A candidate like any other
“I remain attached the humanist values of our plans,” he is quoted as saying.
Mr. Sarkozy also has shocked French media by treating Ms. Le Pen as a candidate like any other.
In the past, mainstream politicians kept their distance from the National Front, at least in public, because its leaders evoked uncomfortable memories of French collaboration with the Nazis.
Party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted for saying the Holocaust wasn’t “particularly inhumane” and the gas chambers were a “detail of history.”
“Today, we are no longer in the era of World War II,” Ms. Mayer said.
Ms. Mayer said only a minority of Ms. Le Pen’s voters are truly on the extreme right, while the others supported her out of protest, out of fear of runaway immigration and out of fear of globalization.
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