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Chirac Won`t Debate Le Pen on TV

Posted April. 25, 2002 09:08,   


French President Jacques Chirac declared on the 23rd that he wouldn`t have any TV debate with Jean-Marie Le Pen leader of the National Front party (FN)

President Chirac on the 23rd said to the supporters in the northern city of Rennes, “faced with intolerance and hatred, no dealing, compromise, and debate is possible. Just as I did not accept any alliance in the past with the National Front, whatever the political price, I will not accept a debate with its leader in the future. ” He called the competition with Le Pen “the battle of my life”.

Le Pen appeared at France 2 television, and said, “it is unacceptable attack on the principle of democracy and cowardly evasion. He is like an elementary school student who abuses while running scared. ”

In spite of offense and defense between these two, public opinion surveyed by a daily newspaper `Le Parisian` says 70 percent of French people want the debate, implying the realization of the debate.

Meanwhile, the rightist camps are arranging an alliance pivoting President Chirac encouraging anti-Le Pen fronts. They are extending influence ahead of second round and final presidential election. 3 rightist` parties of the Rally for the Republic (RPR) party, the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party, and Liberal Democracy (DL) party are agreeing to organize `United Majority with President`s party`.

Over 100,000 anti-Le Pen protesters from all parts of the country continued demonstrating for 3 days. Some protesters destroyed windows and parked cars, and throw fire bottles to the riot police, who putting down the demonstration firing tear gas.

Sung-Kyu Kim kwakgija@donga.com · kimsk@donga.com