Parliamentary elections take place in France on March the 12th and 19th, and although the official election campaign has not yet started, party leaders have already been getting out and about meeting the public.
Parliamentary elections take place in France on March the 12th and 19th, and although the official election campaign has not yet started, party leaders have already been getting out and about meeting the public. On Wednesday (15 February), Robert Fabre, leader of the Left Radical Party (MRG) was in Paris, and the same day Prime Minister, Raymond Barre, visited Brittany.
SYNOPSIS: The forthcoming elections have been described as the most crucial in France since the Fifth Republic was established in 1958.
The seven main parties, or groupings, are all putting up candidates, but the exact number will not be known until the official campaign starts on February the 28th. There are 491 seats and the major parties will contest almost all of them.
The Communists are led by George Marchais, and heading the Gaullist campaign is former Prime Minister and Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac.
Left Radical Party leader Robert Fabre was in the 28th district -- the Buttes- Chaumont quarter of Paris -- on Wednesday, to help local leftist candidate Pierre Mattei. Fabre, himself is a merchant chemist from the small Aveyron town of Villefranche de Rouergue, which he represents in the French Parliament.
The Left Radical Party was formed in 1975, and is a splinter group of the old Radical Party, which had Jean Jacques Servan Schreiber as its president from 1971 to '75. With the Communists and Socialists, it forms the main opposition to Raymond Barre's coalition government.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister visited Vannes in Brittany. This was the day after he had attacked the Socialist's economic programme.
Mr. Barre, who is also the present government's Finance Minister, said the Socialist's programme would cost 47 billion dollars in budget costs, and huge wage rises. The only way this could be raised, he said, was by either creating new money or doubling taxes for everybody. As well as Vannes, Mr. Barre, also visited the Morbihan towns of Plouay and Auray.