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Geopolitics

New Poll: France Is Bored By Its Presidential Race

Some 65% of French people surveyed in a new Ipsos-Logica poll aren’t particularly interested in France’s presidential race. Still 78% still plan to vote, according to the poll that also found President Nicolas Sarkozy still trailing his Socialist party ch

Plenty of other things to ponder... (kimdokhac)
Plenty of other things to ponder... (kimdokhac)


*NEWSBITES

PARIS -- French voters are still very much divided about who should be their next president. But a large majority of them do appear to agree on one thing: the current campaign is "not interesting."

Approximately 35% of people surveyed between March 2-3 by the polling firm Ipsos-Logica Business Consulting qualified the presidential contest as "mostly not interesting." Another 30% found it to be "not at all interesting." A full two-thirds of French voters, in other words, just aren't that into the race, whose two favorites are Socialist Party (PS) candidate François Hollande and sitting President Nicolas Sarkozy. Just 6% of potential French voters find the campaign to be "very interesting."

The new poll, which was carried out on behalf of Le Monde, France Télévisions and Radio France, also suggests that support for both Hollande and Sarkozy is slipping somewhat, while support for the three second-tier candidates – Marine Le Pen, François Bayrou and Jean-Luc Mélenchon – is on the rise.

Hollande remains the frontrunner ahead of next month's first round vote, which is set to take place April 22. The Ipsos-Logica poll found the PS candidate leading Sarkozy by more than four percentage points: 29.5% versus 25%. In third place for the moment is the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, currently polling at 17.5%, up 1.5 percentage points since Ipsos-Logica's last poll, in mid January. Running fourth and first respectively are centrist François Bayrou, up 1 percentage point to 12.5%, and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, up 1.5 percentage points to 9.5%.

Read more from Le Monde in French

Photo – kimdokhac

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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