Update: Reuters is reporting that the Royal-Bayrou debate will be on Saturday and broadcast by BFM TV and RMC.
As I write this Le Monde is reporting that a Royal-Bayrou debate will end up taking place this Saturday afternoon, but that will not do anything to hide the accusations Nicolas Sarkozy has faced for the initial cancellation by Canal+ yesterday.
Canal+ said in a statement that the cancellation was necessary because of election rules requiring equal air time, but according to Royal adviser Jack Lang, that was plainly unecessary.
"The CSA, to my knowledge, has imposed nothing...a time to speak was offered to Mr. Sarkozy by Canal+ either Saturday or Sunday."
Most surprisingly perhaps, UDF candidate Francois Bayrou, who just declared his neutrality in the second round, lashed out at Sarkozy, accusing him of pulling the strings for the cancellation of the debate and saying that this is just one example of a dangerous pattern of behavior.
"When I held a press conference Wednesday I spoke of Nicolas Sarkozy about intimidation and threat. It is exactly there where we are.
It is that this debate was cancelled while asserting, or by claiming, that there were rules of the CSA and a request of the CSA who would prevent the holding of the debate. This is absolutely false.
Here, by a whole series of networks (...), which bring closer very great financial powers and of very great media powers around Nicolas Sarkozy, of the direct interventions are made near the draftings, are made near the chains, so that information is locked.
One is choosing the way of an immense regression which blames the elementary right of the French to be informed. And think that Nicolas Sarkozy is not yet elected. Then, what will he be if he is elected?"
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