France’s far-right leader Le Pen to cast ‘blank vote’ in presidential runoff

Paris, May 2: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has said that she would cast a ‘blank ballot’ in Sunday’s presidential elections, delivering a strong message that she does not back either candidate.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Fran‡ois Hollande are contesting France’s presidential elections, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The National Front leader’s decision further raises the stakes for Sarkozy who is fighting for his political survival and seeking to attract the nearly 18 percent of the French population that voted for Le Pen in the first round on April 22.

“Sarkozy and Hollande. I will grant neither confidence nor mandate to these two candidates. On Sunday, I will cast a blank ballot,” Le Pen said.

Le Pen’s stronger-than-expected first-round performance has propelled the 43-year-old politician, who proposes dumping the euro and locking up borders, into a pivotal role as Sarkozy and Hollande brace for the runoff. (ANI)