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Le Pen: 'I still need 150 signatures'

Matthew Warren · 2 Feb 2012, 13:42

Published: 02 Feb 2012 13:42 GMT+01:00

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Far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen told RTL radio on Thursday morning she was still 150 sponsors short of the 500 needed to be officially declared a candidate in this year's presidential election.

Under French law, a candidate needs 500 signatures from elected officials in at least 30 different departments across the country or in France's overseas territories.

Le Pen has asked for a change in the law so that those offering to sign can remain anonymous. Current rules stipulate that the signatories for each candidate be published.

If she fails to get enough signatures, she will suffer the same fate as her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who led the party until 2011 and failed to get enough signatures to stand in the 1981 election.

Asked whether she is worried about a recent dip in support, Le Pen said the opinion polls "mean nothing."

"Give me a TV programme of an hour and a half on nine TV channels and I think I'd make up that half-point I've lost," she said, alluding to the televised interview given by President Sarkozy on Sunday evening.

In the most recent poll published on Wednesday, Le Pen has 19.5 percent support, compared with around 30.5 percent for François Hollande and 24.5 percent for Nicolas Sarkozy. 

The two leading candidates in the first round of voting will go through to a second round run-off.

Le Pen was also asked about a ball she attended at the weekend in Vienna which has provoked controversy in France. Critics have claimed the ball is attended by far-right neo-Nazis.

"Well, Karl Marx must be right wing since he also took part in these student gatherings," she said. 

Le Pen told journalists on Thursday that she abhorred nazism, calling it an "abomination."




Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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