France: Sarkozy;Ramadan supports Hollande,denied by both men

26 April, 19:07

(ANSAmed) - PARIS, APRIL 26 - Tariq Ramadan, the controversial Muslim intellectual and Swiss national, has never expressed his support for François Hollande in the French presidential election, as the outgoing President, Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed yesterday. The notion was denied today by both the Socialist candidate and Ramadan himself.

The two men reacted to comments by the President and candidate, who, talking about Ramadan yesterday on TF1's flagship news programme, said: "This is a man who invites votes for Hollande. And I have never heard Hollande say that this bothers him".

The Socialist candidate denied the accusation this morning. "This is completely false," Hollande said on the radio station France Info. "Tariq Ramadan, who does not even vote in France, has never mentioned my name," he added.

Ramadan, the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, also denied Sarkozy's comments. "Never in my life have I called on people to vote for Hollande," he told the AFP agency. "I am not French and I have never told people who to vote for. I said that there should be no instructions for Muslims on who to vote for, because this makes no sense. I only said that French citizens, Muslims or otherwise, should vote with their conscience and come up with an assessment of Sarkozy's policy, which is very negative". (ANSAmed).