The Front National Candidate Marine Le Pen formally launched her campaign during a meeting at the Lyon Congress Centre this Sunday. She claimed France is under the threat of two “totalitarianisms” – economic globalisation and Islamist fundamentalism.
It was the first of a series of ten meetings, until the first round of the elections, on 23 April. Marine Le Pen, first in the polls during the first round, but eliminated at the second round, presented her 144 “commitments” to the French people.
The front national leader and her far-left independent rival Jean-Luc Mélenchon both staged rallies in Lyon on Sunday. Around 3,000 people attended Marine Le Pen’s meeting, according to David Rachline, a Front National senator. French television did not hesitate to cut off Mélenchon’s rally to broadcast Le Pen’s instead.
BREXIT, the example to follow
She gets into it right at the beginning: “Against the loaded cash-rich right and the cash-rich left, I am the candidate of the people”.
During her speech, Marine Le Pen insisted on the importance of the “national interest”, and cited Brexit as an example to follow. “Everyday, British citizens can be proud of the growth of their country”, she said. From Italy and Renzi’s last referendum, to the Greeks and the last Austrian elections, she said: “The people are awakening and it shapes History, it shows the end of a cycle.”
Le Pen also cited the American people. “It is possible that a president like Donald Trump is not only elected against a united system, but most of all keeps his promises and acts promptly and with strength in the interest and willing of his people”, she said.
“The European Union is a failure”
The European Union is at the heart of Le Pen’s program, she pledges to take France out of the Eurozone. If elected, she wants to hold a referendum on France’s EU-membership so that the country can “get out of its nightmare and become free again”. This also means a restitution of a French currency. She also wants France to withdraw from NATO.
Islamist fundamentalism and globalisation: the two biggest threats
Marine, daughter of the Front National founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, abundantly spoke about terrorism during her speech. She assured that “sites of Muslims preaching will be closed down” and that the “people classified as ‘S’ would be sued for intelligence with the enemy” and would be sentenced of “national disgrace”.
Le Pen said Islamist fundamentalism was a “yoke” France could no longer live, with people attending the rally shouting, “We are at home”.
She also called for a “zero tolerance” concerning security issues, delinquency, drugs’ traffic… Some other of their main “commitments” includes a tax on foreigners’ job contracts, a lowering of the retirement age and the recruitment of 15,000 new police officers.
“They wanted a happy globalisation, they got a terrible globalisation. They made it an ideology (…) allowing another globalisation to emerge and grow, Islamic fundamentalism”
First in the polls in the first round, but beaten in the end
The recent polls (the link is in French) are suggesting that Marine Le Pen would finish on top of the first round of the election on the 23rd of April. The French system would force her to go through a second round that would, at the present time, stop her way to the Elysée Palace.
So far, she is likely to collect around 26% of the votes and face Emmanuel Macron who is tipped to collect between 20 and 22% of the papers.
However, in the final battle between them, the En Marche candidate is likely to end in a large win against the far-right leader. According to today’s estimations, the 39 year-old candidate would triumph over Ms Le Pen by gathering more than 60% of the votes.