French president's son drops bid for influential post

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PARIS. October 23. KAZINFORM. French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 23-year-old son announced Thursday his quit from the bid to run for the chairman of the organization that oversees the country's top business district; Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

"I will not go for the presidency" of the EPAD, Jean Sarkozy told France 2 television. The EPAD is a quasi-government agency that oversees the development and administration of La Defense, an upscale business district in Paris.

    "I don't want a victory stained by doubt," said the Sorbonne's second-year law student. But he insisted that his "candidacy was totally legitimate" and he would go on seeking a post on the board running La Defense.

    Nationwide controversy rosed days after the blond young man was nominated as head of the EPAD.

    Last week, a survey by local newspaper showed over 60 percent French people oppose junior Sarkozy's appointment. Some groups even launched online petitions urging his quit. French radios, televisions and newspapers focused on the row through the week; Kazinform cites Xinhua. See www.news.xinhuanet.com for full version.

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