I'll keep Burka ban - Hollande

France's socialist presidential candidate has said that, if elected, he will not seek to overturn a law banning face-covering Muslim veils enacted by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservatives.

Francois Hollande, who leads Mr Sarkozy in all polls, and most other Socialists abstained from the 2010 vote in the National Assembly to ban mesh-screen burkas and niqabs, which have slits for the eyes.

He said today that he would keep the ban, but "have it applied in the best way".

Controversy surrounded the law, that took effect last year.

Islamic leaders say it unfairly stigmatises Muslims. Supporters insist it helps defend France's secular state. Only a tiny number of women wear the veils.

The presidential election run-off is on May 6.


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