Official campaigning for the April 22 first round of French presidential elections kicked off on Monday, with each candidate granted an equal amount – 43 minutes – of free TV air time. Unofficial campaigning has been underway for weeks.
AFP - The campaign for the first round of France's presidential election on April 22 officially kicked off Monday with candidates allowed to put up posters and given free air time on television.
Unofficial campaigning has already been underway for weeks, with incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy facing a tough challenge from Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande.
As of Monday, the 10 registered candidates were allowed to put up campaign posters in areas designated by local authorities, although they were not expected to go up until Tuesday, after the Easter holiday.
The posters must be of the same size and not use a white background, which is reserved for official announcements, or any combination of the blue, white and red colours of the French flag.
Public television and radio stations will now be allowed to show campaign spots, with each candidate allowed a total of 43 minutes of air time until April 20.
All broadcasters have been required to provide equal air time to all candidates following their official registration on March 19.