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French conservatives rally supporters ahead of primary

Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 01:12

The race for the conservative nomination in France's presidential race is tightening, as voters prepare to go to the polls. Diane Hodges reports.

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy rallies supporters in Nice, seeking a comeback as the country's conservative nominee for president. After Britain's "Brexit" vote in June and this month's election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, the French election next spring will be the next test of strength between mainstream political forces and rising populists. Sarkozy is hoping to use Sunday's conservative primary to avenge his detractors, and return to the presidential palace on a wave of popular fears about national security. He has vowed to ban the Islamic burkini swimsuit, has ruled out special school lunches for Muslim children and said immigrants should "live like the French" if they want to stay in France. But to do that, he'll have to defeat former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, who leads the pack of seven candidates in the first round of voting. He'll also have to fight off rising momentum from another former prime minister Francois Fillon. One poll shows Sarkozy and Fillon finishing tied on Sunday and facing off against Juppe in the second round a week later.

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French conservatives rally supporters ahead of primary

Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 01:12