ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com May 22, 2018


France's Macron has call with Obama ahead of election

21 April 2017, 02:52 | Erica Roy

Sunday's vote is round one of two.

The government previously announced that security around candidates and the election has been stepped up ahead of Sunday's first-round vote.

Anti-terror police and agents from France's domestic intelligence agency conducted the arrests.

Authorities say they have made hundreds of arrests since the beginning of previous year, but Tuesday's incident was the first with a possible link to the hotly contested election campaign.

The men, both French, are "suspected of wanting to commit, in an imminent way, a violent action on the eve of the French presidential election", the minister said.

French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said the Mahiedine Merabet and Clement Baur, aged 24 and 30, were French nationals and were detained at different addresses in the southern port city.

Mélenchon is one of four candidates with a legitimate shot at the presidency.

Macron, a pro-EU centrist, is leading most opinion polls for the election's first round and is expected to contest a second-round run-off with far-right leader Marine Le Pen.


Far-right presidential front runner 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.

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon was also warned about the danger last week, an aide said.

Those on the right have been particularly vocal, seeking to appeal to voters traumatized by IS-inspired attacks that have killed at least 235 people in France since January 2015, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country. Le Pen was present at the rally by her supporters for a speech.

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche!, or Onwards!, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, listens to general director of the optic group KRYS Jean-Pierre Champion (L) during his visit at the headquarters of the KRYS group in Bazainville, France, April 18, 2017.

"We have never seen a four-way contest like this in the first round of a presidential election", Frederic Dabi of the Ifop polling institute told AFP. The siren call of Le Pen's "France first" nationalist rhetoric, and Melenchon's late surge left Europe's second-largest country and third-biggest economy at a crossroads, with its future in the European Union up for grabs. The Bloomberg Composite of first-round polls showed Macron nearly two points ahead, on 24.2 percent.

The EU executive was referring to Le Pen's demand on Tuesday night that French TV station remove the blue, yellow-starred EU flag from the stage where she would be interviewed, leaving just the French blue-white-and-red flag.

Le Pen, who is relatively socially liberal on the issue of abortion, says that if elected she would replace same-sex marriage with civil partnerships, which existed in France from 1999 to 2013.



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