[JURIST] French conservative presidential candidate and current Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile, in French; BBC profile; presidential campaign website, in French] said Monday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile] had expressed support for Sarkozy's version of a European constitution [official website; JURIST news archive], although Merkel did not confirm his claim. Sarkozy proposes adopting only the first two chapters of the draft constitution to gain the support of all EU member nations.
In the past, both Sarkozy and French Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal [BBC profile; advocacy website, in French], have expressed reservations [JURIST report] about approving the charter after French voters rejected it [JURIST report] in May 2006. Nevertheless, in January, Merkel urged [JURIST report] ratification before the next round of European Parliament elections scheduled for June 2009. AFP has more.