France: Sarkozy Vs. Hollande; Who Will be President?

Stop Fundamentalism – Some 20 million French stayed home to watch a debate between incumbent President, Nicolas Sarkozy and his rival socialist hopeful, Francois Hollande last night just three days before the second round of elections takes place on Sunday. Current polls show Hollande to be at least 7 points ahead of Sarkozy.  That will make Sarkozy the second president to lose re-elections in the history of France. 

While the debate was considered to be Sarkozy’s last chance to make a comeback, the polls today don’t show any considerable change.   Sarkozy says the polls lie. 

None of the other first-round candidate has yet extended support for Nicolas Sarkozy.  Nationalist Marine Le Pen who received 18 percent of the first-round vote will not support any of the candidates and suggested to her voters to do what they feel is best.

On the left and center though, Jean-Luc Melenchon and Eva Joly immediately after the vote announced their support for the Presidency of Francois Hollande.  Today, Francois Bayrou, who received 9 percent of the vote declared his support for Hollande.

Hollande promised to be the president of all French uniting the country and its people during the two hour and fifty minute debate with current president Sarkozy. He blamed Sarkozy for dividing the country, discriminating between public and private sector workers.  Sarkozy, on the other hand, defended his track record saying there has been no violence in the country during the past five years despite austerity measures throughout Europe.

Sarkozy has been branded as the most unpopular president ever to run for re-election.  That is because no incumbent president in the history of France has ever come second on the first-round presidential vote.  Last Sunday he came second to Hollande.

Sarkozy invited Hollande to participate in three televised debates but Holland agreed to only one.

While Hollande has led France’s Socialist Party for many years, he has never held a high office in the government. 

Both candidates accused the other of lying during the debate but none managed to serve a strong blow.

Martine Aubry, the Secretary General of the Socialist Party said following the debate that his party’s candidate showed in the debate that he is already the president of France which he deserves to be.