Excerpt:

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday removed one of his staunchest allies from his conservative party's list for December regional elections, punishment for saying France was a "white race" country that must stay that way.

After four days of silence over the latest outburst from outspoken lawmaker Nadine Morano, Sarkozy said her comments harmed The Republicans party's image and could not stay without consequences.

The case illustrates the challenge posed to Sarkozy in his bid to unite a divided party which is struggling in particular to decide its line on immigration under pressure from an increasingly popular far-right National Front.


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