Few Reasons To Cheer

ERIC BOUVET for TIME

SELF-PROMOTION: A presidential candidate from the Banlieues, Nekkaz campaigns in the Parisian suburb of Choisy-le-Roi

Rachid Nekkaz was back on his home turf in the Parisian banlieue of Choisy-le-Roi last month with a timely message for the neighborhood's largely black and Arab population. "Get yourselves on the electoral lists!" his spokesman declared through a bullhorn over the din of market criers in the crowded morning bazaar. "Nekkaz, son of Choisy-le-Roi, is running for President!" The gangly son of illiterate Algerian immigrants, now a successful Internet entrepreneur, doesn't entertain hopes of winning against the likes of Ségolène Royal, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jean-Marie Le Pen. He'll be lucky to get even 3% of the vote....

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