French presidential elections

In order to stand in the French presidential elections each candidate must present a list of 500 signatures supporting their entry into the race.
A variety of elected officials may sign but of around 45000 who may do so around 36000 are mayors. The legislation was introduced in 1976 to prevent unrealistic candidates from entering the race. The list of supporters is published after the election. Many mayors claim that they support the smaller candidates in the interests of democracy and that proposing a candidate in this way should not be taken as a vote for this candidate. This year many of the smaller candidates have had difficulty reaching 500 signatures. This is for several reasons: firstly those supporting Le Pen have been placed under pressure by voters who do not wish their elected officials to support the National Front, secondly the major parties are placing a lot of pressure on their members to vote for the main party and not for a second candidate. Those on the left are wary of a repeat of the 2002 election where the socialist vote was badly split and the second round was a run-off between Chirac and Le Pen. The right wing UMP are also wary of this possibility and hope to win control of the large national front vote.

Posted By

jef costello
Mar 8 2007 12:10


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