Le Pen tells Front National to stay home

May 1, 2007 at 10:47 PM

PARIS, May 1 (UPI) -- Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the right-wing Front National, told his followers Tuesday they should abstain from the upcoming presidential vote.

Le Pen suggested that Nicholas Sarkozy, the conservative candidate, has hijacked the Front National program while continuing to treat its members as extremists, The (London) Telegraph reported. He said voting for Segolene Royal, the Socialist candidate, to get revenge on Sarkozy would also make no sense.

"We should take no responsibility for the choice on May 6," Le Pen said.

Le Pen came in fourth in the first round of voting, winning about 11 percent of the vote. Francois Bayrou, who positioned himself as a centrist, ran a strong third.

Sarkozy, who holds a slight lead over Royal in polls, has said he believes that most of Le Pen's followers will vote for him Sunday, disregarding their leader.

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