Source AP ©

French Minister for Equal Opportunities resigns

French Minister for Equal Opportunities Azouz Begag has refused to support the governing party's candidate in presidential elections and  resigned.

In a statement, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Begag had stepped down in order "to be able to speak freely again" _ meaning he could actively support his candidate of choice, centrist politician Francois Bayrou, in the presidential race against front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy, a former interior minister.

The two-round elections are to be held April 22 and May 6.

Begag, 50, a low-profile minister of Algerian origin appointed in June 2005, announced last month he was bucking the governing party to back Bayrou, who is third in polls behind Socialist candidate Segolene Royal.

At the time, Begag said Bayrou brought "diversity" to a campaign largely focused on a dual between Sarkozy and Royal. He openly criticized Sarkozy for having called delinquent youths in poor housing projects "scum."

Begag's resignation is largely symbolic, as the entire government will be replaced once outgoing President Jacques Chirac bows out in mid-May.

In his statement, Villepin hailed Begag's "fight against discrimination and for equal opportunities and diversity." Villepin is reportedly a friend of Begag.

Research Minister Francois Goulard also has come out in support of Bayrou.

Comments
The Sham called Democracy
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
The Sham called Democracy
Saudi Arabia: War with Iran unavoidable
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
Moscow aware of NATO's plans to attack Russia
Ukraine and PMC Blackwater to poison Donbass with radioactive waste
Ukraine wants to have the army of Nazi zombies
Ukraine wants to have the army of Nazi zombies
Ukraine and PMC Blackwater to poison Donbass with radioactive waste
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Most Russians do not notice absence of delicious foreign food products
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
Ukraine and PMC Blackwater to poison Donbass with radioactive waste