Marine Le Pen: My ballot will be blank

May 1, 2012 at 6:05 PM
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PARIS, May 1 (UPI) -- Marine Le Pen, who ran third in the French presidential election, refused Tuesday to endorse either Nicolas Sarkozy or Francoise Hollande in the runoff.

Le Pen told supporters of the right-wing National Front they should follow their own consciences, France 24 reported. She said she will cast a blank ballot, voting neither for the conservative President Sarkozy or Socialist Hollande.

"On May 6, it is not a president who will be elected, but merely another employee of the European Central Bank, a subordinate of the financial system in Brussels," Le Pen said in an hour-long speech in front of the Paris Opera.

Le Pen's father, Jean, who founded the party, led supporters in a march through Paris in honor of Joan of Arc before the rally. St. Joan, who was canonized in 1920, led a French army against the English and was burned at the stake in Rouen in 1431 when she was about 19.

Several Le Pen supporters at the rally told France 24 they were strongly considering following her lead. When Sarkozy was first elected in 2007, he got a boost in the runoff from National Front support.

Some political observers believe Le Pen wants Sarkozy to lose, Radio France Internationale reported. She reportedly thinks the president's Union for a Popular Movement will collapse, leaving the National Front as the dominant political group on the right.

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