After days of media controversy and growing unease among his party’s centre party allies, Nicolas Sarkozy finally moved this week to discipline one of his once-loyal supporters who described France as a country of “white race”. The president of the right-wing Les Républicains (LR) – formerly the UMP – made clear that Nadine Morano, a former government minister and current European Member of Parliament, would be de-selected as a party candidate for December’s regional elections. This abrupt announcement on Wednesday was, however, in sharp contrast with the earlier reaction of the party’s leaders, who had distanced themselves from Morano’s comments while stopping well short of calling on her to step down as a candidate.
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