France: Extreme-right leader calls her supporters to make their own choice on Sunday
French extreme-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to endorse Nicolas Sarkozy on his reelection bid ahead of the May 6 runoff. She told the six million people who voted for her in the first round "to make their own choice" at Sunday's ballot.
Sarkozy, who faces off against Socialist Francois Hollande, needs many of the almost 18 percent of voters who chose National Front leader Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election. Hollande leads in opinion polls.
Le Pen, who came third on April 22, told a rally in Paris on Tuesday that she personally would spoil her ballot paper in the second round by choosing to vote for neither of the two remaining contenders.
"I will not grant my trust, or a mandate, to these two candidates," she told supporters at an annual May Day celebration.
"On Sunday, I will cast a blank ballot."
"I have made my choice," she said. "Each of you will make yours."
Analysts had calculated that Sarkozy might need as many as 80 percent of Le Pen's first-round voters if he were to win. But polls indicate only about half of them intend to.