The campaigns of french presidential candidates, Socialist Francois Mitterrand and conservative Valery Giscard D'Estaing entered their final stages on Thursday (16 May).
SV INTERIOR Mitterrand arrives at political meeting and picks up a rose and waves it at crowd.
SV Mitterrand speaking
GV ZOOM IN Giscard D'Estaing on rostrum waving to crowd.
SV Crowd waving and chanting "Giscard"
SCU Giscard speaking
"I know what the French want and think, and I know it is France that will win. It is up to the French people to decide the country's fate. Sunday will be the end of the campaign, the television screens will be empty, the radios silent, posters will hang from walls, and it is France that will emerge the winner."
"I am loyal to the tenets of Socialism. I am not a Communist, but the Communists are present. The Socialist and Communist parties were divided in the past. But now we look forward to the time when they are unified in government. The Liberals together with other Republican parties have decided to side with us, choosing the party of freedom".
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The campaigns of french presidential candidates, Socialist Francois Mitterrand and conservative Valery Giscard D'Estaing entered their final stages on Thursday (16 May).
In an ambitious climax to his presidential drive, M. Giscard D'Estaing, the Finance Minister, spoke to a vast rally at the west Paris exhibition centre attended by about 100,000 supporters.
M. Giscard's party organisers had arranged for nearly 700 coaches and two special trains to take supporters to the rally from throughout France.
The French Finance Minister spoke confidently to the Paris rally of his chances of winning the crucial elections.
M. Mitterrand -- who drew a crowd of the same size to the exhibition centre two weeks ago -- attended an enthusiastic reception in the Socialist stronghold of Marseilles.
He concluded the election rally -- in the Palais dos Sports - by leading 15,000 supporters in singing France's revolutionary anthem, the Marseillaise.
M. Mitterrand spoke of his party's alliance with the Communists.
The campaigns were to end at midnight the following day, with opinion polls giving each candidate exactly half the veto.