soutien-sarkozy-japon-160.jpg On the 22nd of April and the 6th of May, France will elect its next President. Twelve candidates have presented themselves, but among these, four stand out: Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP, Conservative Party), Ségolène Royal (PS, Socialist Party), François Bayrou (UDF, Centrist Party), and Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN, Far Right).

Sarkozy as Interior Minister in Chirac’s government, has worked hard and acted upon issues of the day. He has a firm hand and he speaks his mind. He doesn’t dilly-dally to please anyone. He will do what he thinks is right. Among the candidates, he has the most experience and the best pragmatic ideas necessary to be France’s next President. For details of his political platform, see the website: Ensemble Tout Devient Possible.

Royal has made a series of gaffes during her campaign, including a wrong answer to the question of how many nuclear submarines France has. On the diplomatic front, she has endorsed Quebec’s independence and expressed admiration for China’s justice system. The power of the French Presidency encompasses two major responsibilities: chief of the armed forces and international diplomacy.

Bayrou is a part-time farmer who studied literature in school. His political programme is an unrealistic mix of both the Left and Right. He is capitalising on the idea that if he should pass the first round with either Sarkozy or Royal, the electorate of the losing party will vote for him — not for his sake, but to cast a vote against the other political party. Hence, his pandering to both Left and Right.

Le Pen continues to prey on the fears of the French with regards to immigration issues.

After the referendum debacle on the European Union’s Constitution, here’s hoping that the French will vote wisely this time.