Le Pen's slim shot at French presidency rests on low turnout

Le Pen's slim shot at French presidency rests on low turnout

On France 2 television, Macron said the 48-year-old Le Pen would bring disaster to the economy and divide it with "hatred".

Jugele's civil partner will also speak, and both presidential candidates have said they will be present.

The move was seen as largely symbolic but one that would loosen her association with the FN, the party founded by Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, notorious for anti-Semitic and xenophobic remarks.

Chaotic scenes followed as Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, sought to wrestle back the initiative by making his own, impromptu stop at the Whirlpool clothes-dryer plant in Amiens, spending over an hour in Le Pen's wake trying to reason with angry employees who asked why the former finance minister hadn't come there earlier.

Politicians on the moderate left and right, including French President Francois Hollande and the losing Socialist and Republican party candidates in Sunday's first-round vote, maneuvered to block Le Pen's path to power.

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Duterte compared the standoff to two countries playing with toys "and those toys are not to entertain". If North Korea carries out a nuclear test, Mr Trump told CBS , "I would not be happy".

The defeated far-left candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, pointedly refused to back Mr Macron, and Ms Le Pen's National Front was hoping to do the once-unthinkable and gain the support of voters historically opposed to a party long tainted by racism and anti-Semitism.

In contrast, her opponent has huddled in strategy meetings over June legislative elections that will determine the shape of a future Macron government. Her most important foreign ally is Vladimir Putin, whose money funded her campaign, but in recent days President Trump has made positive noises about her, too.

Paris: Marine Le Pen's narrow chances of becoming president of France hinge on swathes of the electorate not showing up at the polls on 7 May.

She also pledged to impose an extra tax on companies which hire foreigners and make it harder for illegal migrants to legalize their situation.

Far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen has rebranded herself with a new slogan - "Choose France" - before the May 7 runoff balloting to embrace a wider swath of voters and boost her chances for victory.

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Paris Grand Mosque rector Dalil Boubakeur urged Muslims to vote "massively" for Mr Macron, warning of the "threat embodied by xenophobic ideas risky to our cohesion".

"If it wasn't for the euro, I think she'd have a chance", he told AFP.

Macron said that if elected president, the firm's redundancy plan would not be accepted if it was not good enough.

"Ten little points, believe me, it's perfectly doable", she said on Monday night. Fillon and Hamon have already endorsed Macron. There is a part of the old left, including those who voted for the Trotskyist, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who sympathise with her objections to trade, bankers and global business; there is a part of the old right, including those who voted for François Fillon, who prefer her ostentatious endorsement of "traditional values".

Le Pen's surprise visit at the Whirlpool strike site on the other hand showed the anti-immigrant leader was intent on waging an aggressive war of images.

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Macron and Le Pen stood grim-faced among hundreds of mourners as Xavier Jugele's gay partner delivered a moving eulogy to the 37-year-old officer, whose shooting was claimed by the Islamic State group.

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