The French Presidential Election
March 6, 2017 • 191 views
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France’s presidential election has two leading candidates: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Emmanuel Macron is the founder of the En Marche party, which Macron has described as being a progressive organization of both the left and right. Marine Le Pen is the president of the National Front, a right-wing populist and nationalist political party; its major policies include opposition to French membership in the European Union and the Schengen Area, economic protectionism, a zero-tolerance approach to law and order issues, and opposition to immigration.
Over the weekend, conflicts in the western city of Nantes erupted during a demonstration against Le Pen. Seven police officers were injured on Saturday in Nantes, including one with severe burns when anarchists and vandals began throwing rocks and firebombs during an anti-Le Pen protest.
Francois Fillon, former prime minister and front runner until a scandal broke in January, has stated that France is in a “climate of civil war” and has also accused journalists of trying to carry out a “lynching” and “assassination.” Both Fillon and Le Pen have also attacked judicial investigations into their use of allegedly fake parliamentary aides as an attempt by outgoing President François Hollande, of the Socialist Party. Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneve responded on Monday, “In politics, especially during campaigning, you need a certain dignity, a high-mindedness, and respect for the truth.”
With each candidate boasting a scandal, roughly 40,000 citizens have signed a petition to convince Barack Obama to run for the French presidency. The petition came after Le Pen led in polls for the first round of voting in April. Accordion to second-round polls, she is expected to lose during the second round to her opponent.
Fears of a Le Pen victory eased on Monday. Recent polls have shown Emmanuel Macron is well placed to defeat Marine Le Pen in the second round and become the next president of France. The question remains—will France have a shock similar to Britain and the United States come Election Day?