Melenchon's working-class rhetoric hits home in French vote

21 Avril, 2017, 20:44 | Author: Lucrece Courtet
  • Paris attack to have big effect on presidential poll Trump

But with tension already high in France after authorities foiled an imminent plot in Marseille, the ISIS-claimed attack on police officers Thursday night in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe only serves to reinforce numerous assertions made by Le Pen and validate the concerns of her supporters.

On Thursday, France was rocked by another terrorist attack when a gunman opened fire along the nation's Champs-Élysées.

Quoting two French officials, AP said investigators believe that Cheurfi was alone when he shot dead a police officer with an automatic Kalashnikov rifle and injured two others around 9 p.m. local time (CET).

Far-right National Front Leader Marine Le Pen and centre-right Republicans candidate Francois Fillon have been campaigning hard on boosting security agencies and stopping terrorism.

With just two days to go in what has been a roller-coaster campaign, the Russian fake media machine has trained its sights on the French elections.

She wants to tighten French borders controls and build more jails, and says authorities are not doing enough to protect citizens from militant attacks, which have killed more than 230 people in France since January 2015.

The race between the four main candidates is so tight ahead of Sunday's vote that a marginal opinion change, provoked by the Paris attack, could thwart the predicted success of front-runners Le Pen and Macron who are narrowly ahead of Fillon and Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon. Le Pen also claims the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has led to more terror attacks in the country.

With a record number of voters still undecided, analysts say the shooting, by a suspect said to be known to French security services for radical Islamist activities, could play into the narrative pushed by the far-right. "Naivety is over", she said. "This is the end of naiveté".

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Two policemen killed in Paris shooting
She said "a clear head and a firm grip" were required in the wake of the gun attack , saying: "It is time to stop being naive". In France meanwhile, three people known to the attacker were being questioned by anti-terror police, judicial sources said .

Three candidates - Le Pen, Center-right candidate Francois Fillon and centrist independent, Emmanuel Macron - announced they were suspending their campaigns. Now comes Marine Le Pen, another right wing populist, who could become the next President of France.

One of the key questions was if, and how, the attack that killed one police officer and wounded three other people might impact voting intentions. Yet what separates Thursday's Paris attack from the others, is the potential role it may play in shaping the course of European Union and French politics for generations.

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron appealed to French voters to keep a cool head.

Going into the first round of France's presidential election moves in the euro will probably be limited to position adjustment, said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist for Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Once the first ballot is counted, we will have a better sense whether the European Union will endure; how Europe is likely to address its refugee issue and what lies ahead for European relations with Russian Federation, after yet another election with signs of meddling from Moscow.

Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stepped into the campaign, accusing both Le Pen and Fillon of exploiting the Paris shooting.

If Melenchon makes it to the runoff, he is projected to beat both Le Pen and Fillon by comfortable margins although he is seen losing to Macron 41 percent to 59 percent.

"The presidential costume is a bit big for him", said Paul Rousselier, a Paris banker who plans to vote for the 39-year-old anyway.



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