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Interesting way of limiting the candidates. Just to get an impression of what this rule means in real terms: What (approximately) would be the number of those whose signature counts?

Does Le Pen need support of some from the UMP to get his 500? (I guess this would be what is refered to as being forced not to run.)

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by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 12th, 2007 at 05:53:27 PM EST
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People that can provide these signatures - there are about 40 000 of them ; there are many small communes in France !

Many of the small commune mayors are not publicly UMP or PS or whatever. So they don't have party pressure not to sign.

But there is the stigma of signing for Le Pen - implicitly supporting him - that many mayors don't want to go through. There have also been reports of Departmental Councils (conseil général) cutting off subsidies if the mayor signs for the wrong candidate.

In 2002 the hurdle was quite low as mayors freely gave signatures - there ended up being 16 candidates, a major reason for Jospin's failure to make it to the second round.

Le Pen can clearly get his signature without any UMP mayor signing. But he likes to play the victim - it gets him airtime. He played the same comedy in 2002.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 12th, 2007 at 07:27:37 PM EST
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I heard on the radio (France Inter) this morning that Le Pen has practically all his signatures. Just making out everyone wants to silence him (because he's the man who has the vital things to say!), as usual.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Mar 13th, 2007 at 02:15:54 AM EST
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