NICOLAS Sarkozy ruled out any partnership with Marine le Pen’s National Front party yesterday despite stepping further to the right since losing the first round in the French presidential elections.
In an interview on French radio yesterday, Sarkozy said, “We need to speak to the 18 per cent who voted for Marine le Pen.”
“But I don’t want ministers from the National Front,” he added. “There will be no deal with them, no ministers for them.”
The comments came amid accusations from socialist candidate Francois Hollande that Sarkozy has been trying to seduce the far right with his speeches about protecting France’s borders, reducing immigration and “defending the French way of life”.
Sarkozy became the first incumbent French president to lose in the first round of an election when Hollande won 28.6 per cent of the vote to Sarkozy’s 27.2 per cent on Sunday. Le Pen took 17.9 per cent of the vote – the highest ever for a far-right candidate.