French presidential candidate addresses Tunisian voters

French presidential candidate Francois Hollande

As France prepares to vote, the Tunisian uprising continues to play a role. While right wing candidates play up fear over rising immigration from North Africa, the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, is courting the Tunisian vote. In an interview yesterday with the magazine 216 (the magazine “for Tunisians abroad), Hollande explained how if he is elected he will increase support for the restitution of Ben Ali’s assets:

Justice must be done and political action must be there to serve the cause of justice. The financial crisis does not justify everything and does not undermine the fight against corruption. This fight will be at the heart of our international activities.

Regarding French support for foreign dictators, including Ben Ali and his family:

I was shocked, like many French people, by the reception, over the past five years,  of now overthrown dictators in Paris. This does not correspond to the values of France, democracy, freedom, respect for fundamental rights. There is no reason to support draconian and dictatorial regimes. That is why the left has urged the French government to support the Revolution and the Tunisian Arab Spring, from its onset. The silence of France had lasted too long.

For more from Hollande on Tunisia and the Arab Spring see his interview with French radio station “France Info” last January.

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