4 May 2012

Campaigning near end for French presidential election

2:46 pm on 4 May 2012

As campaigning for the French presidential election is about to end, the centrist candidate of the first round, Francois Bayrou, has declared his support for Francois Hollande.

The stance is not being followed by Mr Bayrou's representative in New Caledonia, Didier Leroux, who has called for voters to back Nicolas Sarkozy in the weekend run-off vote.

Mr Leroux says France needs to reduce its debts and that won't happen by hiring 60,000 officials as suggested by Mr Hollande.

The vote is due this weekend although questions remain about the official approval of the first round results.

Following a challenge by a Tahiti-based voter Rene Hoffer about the names used by the candidates, the constitutional court said it was of no consequence that some candidates used a first or second name different from their name in the official registry.

Last week, it also said candidates were allowed to use a name that varied from the one allowed to use by law.

Mr Hoffer says the court has not formally proclaimed the result of the first round as prescribed in the constitution.