French candidates boost security ahead of tense vote

26 April, 2017, 08:42 | Author: Ora Austin
  • A man walks past electoral posters displaying the presidential candidates Benoit Hamon left Emmanuel Macron center and Marine Le Pen in Paris France Monday

Paris: Far-right presidential frontrunner Marine Le Pen said Wednesday that French people felt "dispossessed" in their own country as she stressed the threats of immigration and terrorism in the final days of campaigning.

Slamming her rivals, whom she said wanted "savage globalisation", she said hers was the camp of patriots.

JP Morgan equity strategists on Tuesday said they still expected independent centrist Emmanuel Macron to win the French presidential election, even though they noted the race had tightened after a rise in polls for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.

During Le Pen's speech, one young woman jumped on the stage and was immediately carried away by security and a topless woman later shouted out from the middle of the concert hall in an apparent protest against the candidate.

She said that "I am a candidate in the election for the French republic" and the European Union is acting like France's "enemy".

Until now, Le Pen has struggled to get her opponents in the presidential race to debate her party's trademark tough security and immigration stance.

If nobody wins more than half of the votes, then the top two candidates will face each other in another round of voting on 7 May.

Investors are anxious that if Melenchon is able to maintain this dynamic in the final days of the campaign, he's likely to qualify for the second round of the vote on May 7, where his opponent could turn out to be the the far-right Marine Le Pen who opposes immigration and wants to pull France out of the euro zone.

"It's back to basics", he said.

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The Islamic State-claimed slaying of the officer on Paris's Champs Elysees avenue thrust questions of security to the fore of campaigning after nine months of relative calm. The men were arrested in the southern city of Marseille by agents from France's domestic intelligence agency.

A cache of weapons and explosives was found in the apartment of the suspects named as Clement Baur, 23, and Mahiedine Merabet, 29.

Meanwhile the Pound remains in a position of strength this morning following the vote in the House of Commons to back Prime Minister Theresa May's call for a snap general election on the 8 of June.

In an article in Le Monde this week, more than 200 business leaders urged voters not to support extreme candidates who they said were "selling illusions, false promises and impossible gifts". "It's a sort of moral red line", the newspaper said.

In the La Croix interview, Le Pen also accused France's bishops of trying to influence voters' political opinions.

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche! movement Emmanuel Macron reacts during his visit at the KRYS group's headquarters in Bazainville, near Paris Tuesday April 18, 2017.

The Communist-backed candidate has pledged to renegotiate some of the founding treaties of the bloc, however, which would cast serious doubt on the viability of the postwar project of integrating the continent.

Polls also show that more than a quarter of voters have yet to decide who they will support on Sunday.

With millions of French voters still undecided or planning to abstain, the vote is the most unpredictable in France in decades and investors are nervous about potential last-minute surprises that could trigger market turmoil.

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