Ten candidates have been formally allowed to run in the first round of the French presidential election next month, the Constitutional Court said Monday.

The country’s highest court validated the presidential bids of incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy and his socialist challenger Francois Hollande. It also validated the surprise bid of Jacques Cheminade, an independent.

Official candidates on the left include Eva Joly of the Green Party, Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Left Front, Philippe Poutou of the New Anti-Capitalist Party and Nathalie Arthaud of the Trotskyist Workers’ Struggle party.

Contesting the election on the right will be Marine Le Pen of the National Front and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan of nationalist movement Rise Up Republic.

Also contesting the election will be Francois Bayrou, the centrist candidate for the Democratic Movement.

But there was disappointment for both former prime minister Dominique de Villepin and European parliament member Corinne Lepage, with neither managing to gather the 500 signatures of support necessary to run in the election.

If no candidate reaches 50% of the votes during the election in late April, a runoff will be held in early May between the two leading candidates. Most recent polls have Hollande beating Sarkozy in a second-round runoff.


Source: The Wall Street Journal