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Hollande rejects debate challenge

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Hollande rejects debate challenge
08:54 CEST+02:00

 

Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande on Sunday rejected President Nicolas Sarkozy's challenge to hold three televised debates with him before the second round vote on May 6.

 

Hollande, who estimates said took between 28 and 29 percent of the vote in Sunday's first round to Sarkozy's 25.5 to 27, stuck to his previous position and said one debate would be enough.

"You don't change how things are organised just because there was a bad result," he told reporters in his constituency in central France.

Sarkozy had previously asked for two debates to be held between the two rounds, a suggestion already rejected by Hollande, but on Sunday he told supporters in Paris he wanted three encounters with his Socialist rival.

"I propose that three debates be organised. The French have the right to truth and clarity," he said.

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