France Election : Teenagers Stage Protest Against Candidates Macron and Le Pen

By Earnest Jones , The Goldwater · 04-28-2017
Photo credit: Jean Philippe | Flickr

France election has taken a totally different turn by sparking protests from teenagers in Rennes and other French cities where rallies have been held and schools blocked in a protest against both presidential candidates.

The campaign, which was marked "We deserve better", saw around 1,000 people came out in the western city to chant neither Le Pen nor Macron. In response, riot police used tear gas to stop the protesters from reaching the historic city center.

Marine Le Pen has spoken in Nice as Macron visited a troubled Paris suburb. According to opinion polls taken in the first round on Sunday, Mr. Macron, candidate of the En Marche (On The Move) movement, will easily beat Ms. Le Pen, who has temporarily stood down as leader of the National Front (FN), in the second round on 7 May.

In response, Ms. Le Pen upstaged her rival on Tuesday when she turned up in his northern home town of Amiens just as he was visiting himself. EU sources blasted Le Pen for defrauding the European Parliament of about €5m (£4m; $5.4m), allegedly paying FN assistants who were not really working for MEPs but were engaged in party work in France.

The polling average line looks at the five most recent national polls and takes the median value, ie, the value between the two figures that are higher and two figures that are lower. For instance,

in Rennes, between 950 and 1,500 demonstrators marched in the city center, French media report, after a peaceful rally.

A group of about 50 tried to occupy the railway station but police used tear gas and one officer cut off from the rest briefly drew his pistol to protect himself, Le Parisien daily reports. The unrest continued in the city center, with police bringing in a helicopter to survey the crowd, AFP news agency says.

The protesters held placards which read Expel Marine Le Pen, not immigrants and We don't want Macron or Le Pen. The western city of Nantes and parts of the capital Paris experienced unrest.

After Mr. Macron and Ms. le Pen won the first round on Sunday, some supporters of the losing candidates have advocated a protest vote against both on May 7. Mr. Macron visited the deprived Paris suburb of Sarcelles on Thursday to meet local people in a stadium where he played football briefly with delighted children.

Mr. Macron accused Ms. Le Pen of not being willing to visit such districts, adding that France does not advocate for the hatred and rejection of others. He later spoke in an interview for the TF1 channel, where he said that France's biggest challenge was mass employment and it needed a policy which allows companies to hire and invest.

If elected, he promised to bring fundamental reform of labor laws this summer. Mr. Macron also vowed to recruit 10,000 new police officers and gendarmes, set up an anti-Daesh task force and discuss at EU level residence permits for war refugees with third countries.

On the other hand, Ms. Le Pen gave her first big rally of the second round in the southern city of Nice, which was traumatized by the Bastille Day lorry attack claimed by so-called Islamic State last year.

She accused Mr. Macron, a former banker, of being the candidate of the oligarchy class whose idea of France was a space where everything can be bought and sold.

Le Pen portrayed herself as a patriot to the cheering crowd, she said the election was a referendum for or against France and she promised to halt mass immigration. She promised to give France back to its borders.

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39736615

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