French candidates take election battle to May Day

May 1, 2012 01:19

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy will compete with trade unions to draw the biggest May Day crowd on Tuesday, seeking to steal the limelight from their annual street march in the final countdown to Sunday's election runoff.

Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande is not taking part in the May 1 activities. Unions, who will have leading Socialists as guests of honor at their march, accuse Sarkozy of hijacking the celebration of workers' rights for political ends.

Also clamoring for space, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, whose surprise 17.9 percent score in an April 22 first-round ballot threw the last fortnight of the election race into disarray, will head the National Front's annual "Joan of Arc Day" rally, a nationalistic display of patriotism.

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