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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 00:01 GMT 01:01 UK
Village in Sarkozy portrait snub
French President Nicolas Sarkozy - the official portrait from the presidential website
The official portrait of the president can be found in every town and village
Local councillors in a French village have refused to hang the official portrait of the country's president in their municipal hall.

Councillors in Sannat, central France, voted five to four against putting up Nicolas Sarkozy's photograph.

The mayor, Henri Sauthon, told AFP news agency the practice was a tradition but was not mandatory.

Presidential portraits are thought to feature in every one of France's 36,000 municipal halls.

"The question arose when we were offered a portrait of the president," said Mr Sauthon, an 81-year-old retired farmer and mayor of Sannat, a village of 380 inhabitants.

"During our meeting on Tuesday, some said they were against hanging the picture, so we had a vote - which ruled against by five to four."

"Maybe we are rebels. Maybe we're a bit hard-headed. Not everyone is a yes-man," he said.

Mr Sauthon, who claims no political affiliation, says Mr Sarkozy's two predecessors, a conservative and a socialist, did not suffer the same fate.

"We had no problems in putting up Jacques Chirac, who remained on the wall alongside Francois Mitterrand," he said.

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