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April 30, 2012

French journalists claim Gaddafi promised Sarkozy campaign €50 million

French journalists claim Gaddafi promised Sarkozy campaign €50 million

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Monday, April 30, 2012

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French news website Mediapart has published a document it says shows the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi pledged French President Nicolas Sarkozy 50 million (£42 million) to fund his 2007 election campaign.

Sarkozy, who gained power in that election, is now fighting a reelection bid but lagging behind socialist opposition leader Francois Hollande in opinion polls. A run-off election is scheduled for May 6.

Sarkozy and Gaddafi are among the world leaders seen here at the G8 summit in 2009.

Had the deal gone ahead it would have breached French law, which bans political donations of such magnitude. Although the Arabic document, apparently signed by Libya’s then-foreign intelligence head Mussa Kussa, dates to 2006 and does not indicate any cash was actually handed over, some reports claim money was laundered via Panama and Switzerland.

Sarkozy spokeswoman Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said the claims were “ridiculous” and invented by Hollande supporters. She said Sarkozy’s election finances were vetted at the time. Hollande spokesman Bernard Cazeneuve said Sarkozy must now “explain himself to the French in the face of such serious elements backed up by new documents emanating from the entourage of the Libyan dictator himself.”

It is not the first time such allegations have been made. As France backed an uprising which ultimately toppled Gaddafi, the Libyan ruler’s son Seif al-Islam last year made the same claim. Mediapart in March published allegations from a doctor who used to treat a local arms dealer, who said his patient had organised such a donation. Sarkozy himself said the suggestion was “grotesque”.

The newly-released document states as present Libya’s head of African investment, Bashir Saleh; Sarkozy ally Brice Hortefeux; Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi; and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine. It is dated October 6, 2006 and discusses an “agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to €50 million.”

Hortefeux has denied ever meeting Kussa or Saleh.

Mediapart is a respected left-wing investigative website. It is generally viewed as opposing Sarkozy’s right-wing regime. It claims money was laundered via accounts including one in the name of Sarkozy’s political party’s head’s sister, and says governmental briefing notes indicate regular funding trips to and from Libya. Mediapart says its sources are “former senior officials now in hiding.”

When al-Islam first made his claims, he said “Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything.” Sarkozy was dismissive when interviewed this year on TF1, saying “I am sorry to see you in the role of a spokeswoman for Gaddafi’s son, frankly I’ve known you in better roles… I am sorry that I am being interrogated about declarations of Gaddafi or his son on an important channel like TF1. When one quotes Mr Gaddafi, who is dead, his son, who has blood on his hands, that is a regime of dictators, assassins, whose credibility is zero… frankly, I think we have sunk low enough in the political debate.”

An investigation is already ongoing into Takieddine. Takieddine is accused of illegally financing Edouard Balladur in an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1995. Sarkozy, who was spokesman for that campaign, denies wrongdoing in relation to it. It is suspected Balladur received kickback bribes from Pakistan in a submarine sale. Investigators believe eleven French engineers were killed in a bomb attack orchestrated as Pakistani revenge revenge for bribe non-payment.

Kosciusko-Morizet suggests Hollande’s supporters arranged the new claims to coincide with allegations made by former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Strauss-Kahn fell from favour after a well-publicised sexual encounter with a hotel maid in the US and last week claimed Sarkozy arranged for allegations to be made in order to prevent Strauss-Kahn running against him for president.

“If he had financed it, I wasn’t very grateful,” Sarkozy said previously about the allegations. France played an active role in Gaddafi’s downfall last year, providing military support to a NATO mission against the Libyan ruler.



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June 2, 2005

France: Villepin\’s cabinet announced

France: Villepin’s cabinet announced – Wikinews, the free news source

France: Villepin’s cabinet announced

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Thursday, June 2, 2005

Newly named Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin has had his cabinet accepted by President of the Republic Jacques Chirac.

Head of the majority Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, Nicolas Sarkozy, comes as a second-in-command as Minister of the Interior, with the honorific rank of Minister of State. The Ministry of the Interior is traditionally one of the most important positions in the cabinet, with that of Finances; the Minister of the Interior is in charge, notably, of law enforcement and relationships with local governments. There is some uneasiness in having the head of a party in a position that is partly in charge of electoral redistrictings. Also, this arrangement creates a peculiar situation: it is public knowledge that Villepin and Sarkozy consider each other a dangerous political rival with respect to the 2007 presidential election, and they are widely said to loathe each other.

The cabinet was presented as a “restricted” cabinet. However, as many as 31 ministers, delegate ministers and secretaries of state were named; still, this is a reduction from the preceding 43. While the cabinet is for a large part copied from the preceding one, some ministers who had provoked controversy and animosity were removed or moved to another less risky position. François Fillon, formerly Minister of National Education, whose plan for reforming public education was lambasted by members of his own party, including president of the National Assembly Jean-Louis Debré, was ruled partly unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council, and provoked widespread student protests and unrest in high schools, is no longer a minister. Dominique Perben, who pushed for controversial law which opponents allege curtail fundamental constitutional freedoms while Minister of Justice, was moved to the less sensitive position of Minister of Transportation and Equipment. It is also possible that the movement of Brigitte Girardin from Minister for the Oversea (relationships with French overseas departments and territories) to (international) Cooperation was motivated by the crisis that occurred in French Polynesia between Gaston Flosse and his opponent Oscar Temaru.

While the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party, led by François Bayrou, formally remains in the ruling coalition along with the UMP, it has decided that, because the new government would probably do more of the same policies, it would not participate in it. The only member of the government from UDF is Gilles de Robien, as in the preceding government.

Previous head of government Jean-Pierre Raffarin had lost the confidence of the French, with polls putting him as low as 22% confidence. President Chirac’s confidence among the citizenry is also a record low of 24%.

Composition of the government

Mr Dominique de Villepin is Prime Minister.

Ministers

  1. Mr Nicolas Sarkozy — Minister of State, Minister of the Interior and of the management of the Territory (law enforcement, French National Police, French Gendarmerie; relationships with local governments; safety regulations; territory subdivisions)
  2. Mrs Michèle Alliot-Marie — w:Minister of Defense (France)
  3. Mr Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  4. M. Jean-Louis Borloo, Minister of employment, social cohesion and housing
  5. M. Thierry Breton, Minister of Economy, Finances and Industry
  6. M. Gilles de Robien, Minister of National Education, of Higher Education and Research;
  7. M. Pascal Clément, Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice;
  8. M. Dominique Perben, Minister of Transportation, Equipment, Tourism and the Sea (national roads, help to local governments for transportation, some government constructions)
  9. M. Xavier Bertrand, Minister of Health and Solidarities;
  10. M. Dominique Bussereau, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries;
  11. M. Christian Jacob, Minister of the Civil Service|;
  12. M. Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, Minister of Culture and Communications; (museums, cultural activities, supervision of broadcasting)
  13. Mrs Nelly Olin, Minister of Ecology and sustainable development;
  14. M. François Baroin, Minister for the Oversea;
  15. M. Renaud Dutreil, Minister for small and middle businesses, Commerce, artisans, and self-employed professionals
  16. M. Jean-François Lamour, Minister of Youth, Sports and associative life.

Delegate ministers

Delegate ministers operate as subordinates of ministers.

  1. Mr Henri Cuq, delegate minister for relationships with Parliament;
  2. Mr Azouz Begag, delegate minister for the promotion of the equality of chances;
  3. Mr Jean-François Copé, delegate minister for budget and the reform of the State, spokesman of the Government;
  4. M. Gérard Larcher, delegate minister for employment, work, and the professional insertion of the young;
  5. Mrs Catherine Vautrin, delegate minister for social cohesion and parity [of the sexes];
  6. Mrs Brigitte Girardin, delegate minister for [international] cooperation, development and francophonie;
  7. Mr Brice Hortefeux, delegate minister for local governments;
  8. Mrs Catherine Colonna, delegate minister for European affairs (relationships with the European Union and other members thereof);
  9. Mr François Goulard, delegate minister for higher education and research;
  10. Mr Léon Bertrand, delegate minister for tourism;
  11. Mr Philippe Bas, delegate minister for Social Security, the elderly, the handicapped, and family;
  12. Mr François Loos, delegate minister for industry;
  13. Mrs Christine Lagarde, delegate minister for foreign commerce;
  14. Mr Hamlaoui Mékachéra, delegate minister for war veterans;
  15. M. Christian Estrosi, delegate minister for the management of the territory.

Related news

  • “France gets a new prime minister” — Wikinews, May 31, 2005

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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