Dangerous development in French election campaign

FranceFrance.Photo: Norway Today Media

The exchange of gunfire in Paris has put a halt to the presidential election campaign just days before the first round of the election.

The incident, which President François Hollande has referred to as a terrorist attack, could mean the end of the election campaign for the time being, reported Reuters.

‘In this context, there is no reason to continue the campaign. We must first and foremost show our solidarity with the police,’ said the conservative candidate, François Fillon. He has cancelled a planned trip to the Alps on Friday.

The assault occurred while the political candidates met for a final television debate.

The left-wing radical, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, said that the candidates should not give up because of the violence.

‘While we are waiting for more information from security services, we should do our duty as citizens without panic; we should not interrupt our democratic process,’ he said.

‘We are naïve. The security level before Sunday’s election was at an elevated level even before the attack.

A total of 50,000 police officers and soldiers will be guarding the streets, which fact has also put the terrorist threat to the country on the presidential candidates’ agenda again. I do not want us to get used to Islamist terrorism.

We must stop being naive. We can’t let our children inherit a country that is unable to defend them,’ said critic of Islam from the ‘extreme’ right wing, Marine Le Pen, after the attack.

The independent center candidate, Emmanuel Macron, stated that a president’s most important job is to protect the people.

The first round of the French presidential election is to be held on Sunday.
The two candidates receiving the highest number of votes in the first round continue to a decisive ballot on May the 7th.

Le Pen and Macron are currently best placed to move on to the second electoral round, but there is great uncertainty about which way the vote will actually go at this stage. Fillon and Mélenchon are also doing relatively well in the polls.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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