[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Profiles: French election outsiders
The following are pen portraits of the outsiders taking part in the French presidential election.

OLIVIER BESANCENOT (COMMUNIST REVOLUTIONARY LEAGUE)

Olivier Besancenot
Born in 1974, the League's leader became the youngest French presidential candidate ever when he stood in the 2002 election at the age of 28 and won 1.3m votes (4.25% of the total). His share of the under-25 vote was 13.9% - more than that of Lionel Jospin or Jean-Marie Le Pen.

JOSE BOVE (ANTI-GLOBALIST)

Jose Bove
Born in 1953, a farmer and a trade unionist, he is perhaps best known for his anti-globalisation and anti-American protests which earned him four prison sentences (ranging from 44 days to 10 months). He became notorious for dismantling a partially-built McDonald's franchise in Millau in 1999. On 7 February 2007, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against a four-month prison term for damaging a GM crop in July 2004 - raising the possibility that he could find himself again behind bars.

MARIE-GEORGE BUFFET (COMMUNIST PARTY)

Marie-George Buffet
Born in 1949, she now heads the party. Previously she served as minister of youth affairs and sports from 1997 to 2002 and was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2002. She advocates increased wages, the construction of 600,000 new social housing units and the elimination of the tax ceiling for the wealthy.

ARLETTE LAGUILLER (WORKERS' STRUGGLE)

Arlette Laguiller
Born in 1949, this retired bank clerk's ideal is to "replace the capitalist system which exploits people with a society which is free of any exploitation of its members". She has taken part in every presidential election since 1974. She gained 5.3% of the vote in the presidential election of 1995 and 5.72% in 2002.

FREDERIC NIHOUS (HUNTING, FISHING, NATURE AND TRADITIONS PARTY)

Frederic Nihous
Born in 1967, this professional lawyer is committed to the rural lifestyle. Polls suggest his support stands at only about 1% of the vote. He is a chairman of the French Association of Pigeon-Hunters. He is proud of shooting his first wild goose when he was just 16.

GERARD SCHIVARDI (WORKERS' PARTY)

Gerard Schivardi
Born in 1950, he started his political work as a trade unionist. Once a member of the Socialist Party, he currently serves as a mayor of Mailhac in the south. He is well-known for his anti-European stance and proposes French withdrawal from the EU. He campaigns for "the collective interests of local communities" and defends public services in rural areas.

PHILIPPE DE VILLIERS (MOVEMENT FOR FRANCE)

Philippe de Villiers
Born in 1949, he was a junior minister for culture in Jacques Chirac's government in 1986 before he founded the Mouvement pour la France, a far-right party which stresses French sovereignty. In 2005 he was one of the leading voices in the successful campaign to reject the European Constitution. In his presidential campaign he warns against globalisation, the "Islamisation" of France and immigration.

DOMINIQUE VOYNET (GREENS)

Dominique Voynet
Born in 1958, she was environment minister in the Socialist-led coalition government (1997-2001) of Lionel Jospin. Her platform focuses on reducing France's dependency on nuclear power and on opposing GM crops. She was a presidential candidate in 1995 when she gained 3.32% of the vote.



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific