Thursday, December 08, 2022

Business boom between Macron, Le Pen on final day of campaign

Aptopix France Presidential Election 54137 1

PARIS ( Associated Press) – French presidential finalists, President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen traded on the last day of campaigning Friday as they tried to explain to uncertain voters why their political agenda Is – and not his opponent’s – the right choice.

Macron, placed in the centre-right, nationalist challenge he is set to face in Sunday’s runoff, accused Le Pen of trying to divide France over Islam. Le Pen has publicly proposed a ban on Muslim headscarves and wants to give priority to French nationals over foreigners in receiving housing and job benefits.

“The far right abstains from the fear and anger that lead to resentment. It says the answer is except some sections of society,” Macron told France Inter radio.

Both candidates made their final pitch to French voters as all campaigning and opinion polls must end by midnight on Friday. Le Pen and Macron face each other on Sunday in a runoff rematch of the 2017 presidential election, due in the first round of votes on April 10.

During his final campaign speech, delivered deep in the southern heart of France, Macron described the election as “a referendum for or against a secular, united, indivisible republic”. He presented himself as a custodian of democratic values ​​and the rule of law, and indicated that Le Pen posed a threat to freedom of expression.

Le Pen, who trailed Macron in the latest opinion polls, campaigned in his northern French heartland in a final attempt to bridge the gap. In a grim mood, she lashed out at Macron’s planned pension reform, which she described as an attempt to make the French work forever.

“The French, along with Emmanuel Macron, will end with life,” Le Pen said. “This reform of Emmanuel Macron is a profound social injustice.”

A big question mark is how many of France’s 48.7 million eligible voters will not cast the ballot because of their hatred of both Macron and Le Pen, a choice often compared to deciding “between the plague and the cholera” colloquially. Is.

Macron acknowledged that Le Pen had enthusiasm and resonance among some voters, adding that “she has managed to draw on some of the things we haven’t been able to do, some of the things I want to quell some anger.” Couldn’t manage to, give immediate feedback on what the voters want.”

In a bid to woo working-class voters who cast nearly 7.7 million votes for leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round, Macron has undermined the campaign’s pledge to progressively raise the retirement age in France to 65.

Macron, a former banker who has been portrayed by critics as a friend of the rich and an oppressor of the poor, now says he will consult unions before deciding on a new legal retirement age.

Macron was warmly welcomed at Figek, where Mélancheon finished second in the first round of voting. But he abruptly stopped in his speech to address the protesters who put up banners protesting the privatization of state services.

Macron told them he did the opposite during the coronavirus pandemic and encouraged them to think about their right to protest before voting on Sunday.

“You should congratulate yourself for living in a democracy where you can challenge a caretaker president, a candidate,” Macron said. “And I hope it can continue. Because with another candidate on April 24, it will be a different option.

Prior to this, Le Pen was in Ataples, in a market near Le Touquet – an obvious choice on the last day of campaigning, given that this is the constituency in which Macron himself votes.

The leader of the National Rally displayed belligerent spirit after a bitter televised debate with Macron this week that sparked a jump in some of her election figures.

Speaking on C-News, Le Pen called on the French to read his manifesto and wake up to the failures of Macron’s five-year term. He responded to criticism that his policies were not under scrutiny.

“I call on the French to investigate themselves and form an opinion by reading what they propose to do to respond to Emmanuel Macron’s stampede,” she said.


Follow Associated Press’s coverage of the French election

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