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BBC NEWS | Europe | Euro election gets celebrity veneer

Former models and anti-Islamic firebrands are among some 9,000 candidates in the European election this week. But can they quicken the pulse of Europe's apathetic voters?

Rachida Dati is no longer the rising star of the Sarkozy administration

The election is a time for shock tactics and charm offensives, anything to get out the vote for an assembly that few people understand - perhaps not even the candidates.

Take Rachida Dati, the glamorous French justice minister and the first Muslim woman to get such a powerful post. Once a protegee of President Nicolas Sarkozy, she has become so unpopular that he wants her out, so he made her run in the European election.

Her heart clearly isn't in it. At a recent campaign meeting, asked if Europe meddled too much in national affairs, Ms Dati gave this answer, amid giggles: "It (Europe) looks after those things that we ask it to look after, with the people who are asked to look after them. In other words, us... I did well, didn't I?"

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 01:35:11 PM EST
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