French Socialist candidate holding Paris rally

Frederick Owens
April 21, 2017

On Christmas Eve 2015, with France reeling from terror attacks in Paris a month before, Emmanuel Macron sent a letter to the president and prime minister, urging sweeping measures to tackle French inequalities that he believed were fueling extremism.

The 65-year-old anti-establishment contender said about the EU: "We change it or we leave it".

It is a challenge for French pollsters, which have a near-perfect record in forecasting the vote share for the top five finishers in the first rounds in 2007 and 2012 and the subsequent run-offs.

Opponents of Le Pen and her anti-immigration National Front party also skirmished with police outside a Paris rally this week.

She assailed recent governments for failing to stop attacks and warned on BFM television earlier in the day; "We are all targets - all the French". However, Le Pen has lost some ground as Fillon and Melenchon closed the gap.

More news: US carrier heading toward Korean Peninsula

Macron, a centrist option among the four most prominent candidates on the ballot Sunday, started his own movement, En Marche!, in an attempt to hold elected office for the first time.

Valls, defeated by Benoit Hamon in the Socialist primary, has said he will vote for Macron.

In a statement, Macron insisted on the importance of respecting France's secular traditions but said they shouldn't be used to target Muslims.

Ms Le Pen's promises to pull France out of the euro, cut immigration, make it harder to get French nationality and to get tough on suspected Islamists, have kept her in joint top place in most of the latest polls. She said Wednesday that "I am a candidate in the election for the French republic" and said Europe is acting like France's "enemy".

Asked if France should leave the European Union, he replied: "We change it or we leave it".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER