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French far right candidate suffers legal defeat

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Feb. 21, 2012 20:26
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French far-right leader and National Front Party candidate for the 2012 French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen gestures during a meeting in Paris, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.
Photo by AP
PARIS (AP) — French far right leader Marine Le Pen has lost a legal battle in her bid to run for president, with the Constitutional Court ruling that her backers' names must be made public.
The decision upholds current electoral rules, which say that anyone wishing to run for president must submit signatures of 500 mayors or local officials supporting the candidacy.

The signatures are then made public.

Le Pen, who enjoys strong support in opinion polls, says the signature rule works against her anti-immigrant party, which has argued that the rule violates the constitution.

The Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that the public signatures are constitutional and aimed at increasing political transparency.

The deadline for submitting signatures is March 16 and the first round of elections is April 22.
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