French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday he would not do a deal with the far-right, but insisted those who vote for Marine Le Pen’s National Front should not be demonised.
Both Sarkozy and his Socialist challenger Francois Hollande finished ahead of Le Pen in Sunday’s first round vote in France’s presidential race, but the far-right flag-bearer won almost 18 percent of the vote.
Now the frontrunners are campaigning ahead of their May 6 run-off, and Sarkozy is under pressure from some in his camp to offer a hand to Le Pen’s supporters, in the hope of closing Hollande’s first-round lead.
“We need to speak to the 18 percent who voted for Marine Le Pen,” Sarkozy said, in an interview with France Info radio.
“I don’t regard this 18 percent as people with extreme-right ideas. Mr Hollande said: ‘They were wrong’. I don’t think when the people speaks it is wrong,” the 57-year-old right-wing incumbent continued.
“But I don’t want ministers from the National Front. I’ve never wanted that. The 18 percent who voted National Front don’t belong to me, but it’s my duty to address myself them,” he said.
“What Mr Hollande has not understood is that we should speak to everybody. There will be no deal with the National Front, no ministers for them, but I have to take them into account and not feel I have to hold my nose.”
Hollande won Sunday’s vote with 28.63 percent to Sarkozy’s 27.18, condemning Sarkozy to be the first sitting president since the Fifth Republic began in 1958 to lose a first round.
Now the pair have until May 6 to recruit enough voters to build a majority from those who abstained or voted for one of the eight defeated outsiders.
‘Big mistake’: Trump’s favorite pollster tells Fox News why Republicans shouldn’t push nomination before the election
Fox News on Friday examined why it would be a "big mistake" for Republicans to attempt to force through a nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Following Ginsburg's death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vowed that Trump's nominee would receive a vote, but did not specify whether it would occur before the election or during the "lame duck" session of Congress that occurs before the 2020 election victors are sworn in.
But conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen warned Republicans it would be a bad idea during an appearance with Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.
LISTEN: Mourners sing ‘Amazing Grace’ outside the Supreme Court to celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Heartwarming videos were shared on social media on Friday night showing the spontaneous gathering at the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The large crowd, with many people wearing masks, sang the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Here are some of the videos of the scene:
A moving moments as dozens join in to sing “Amazing Grace” on the steps of the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/NGZyZi4YR4
— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) September 19, 2020