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French presidential elections … who decides the race towards the Elysee?

French presidential elections ... who decides the race towards the Elysee?

By : Dr. Rajaa Showkat

The second round of the presidential elections in France begins two days later, and the scenario of 2017 repeats itself with the same characters, so what will they present this time?

 Le Pen adopts a program that rejects the survival of the European Union and calls for its dismantling and the return of sovereignty to each country according to the concept of nationalism. It also calls for stopping support for Muslims and immigrants and banning the veil in public places.

Macron declared that he is fighting Le Pen’s ideas with all his might because of their danger to France, and expressed his readiness to create a new, inclusive structure away from differences that would be a “great political movement for unity and action” and called on the French to “confront the right and the far-right and join their camp.”

Le Pen defended her program represented in (the gathering of the French people around social justice and protection guaranteed by a fraternal framework around the idea of ​​the nation, considering this the antithesis of the division, injustice, and chaos imposed by Macron in favor of a few).

         In the context of the race in the first round, Le Pen had prevented a team of journalists from attending her presentation, and Macron commented that (the true face of the extreme right is returning, a face that does not respect freedoms, rights, independence of the press and basic freedoms), adding that its authoritarian intentions have begun to emerge.

Le Pen replied that the show that prevented journalists from attending was entertainment and was not journalistic.

She added that Macron (not in a position to give lessons on how to deal with the press) and thus the first round of sparring ended, although Macron entered the battle late and did not devote much time to the election campaign, justifying that he had to manage the Covid 19 crisis and the war in Ukraine.

        With the end approaching, the right-wing candidate made some changes in attitudes, especially her position on the issue of the veil and its ban in public places, where the two candidates were on opposite sides in this issue.

 At a time when Le Pen was calling for the headscarf to be banned and to find women who wear it in public, Macron was insisting that religious freedoms be defended.

With the intensification of the electoral battle and in a time of critical crises, her position represented a major turning point, as her spokesman recalled that in the event of Le Pen’s election, she would task the new parliament with determining the details of the veil issue and providing solutions.

This is in the context of the candidates seeking to attract the votes of the Muslim voters, who are estimated to number about 6 million Muslims or 9% of the population.

        According to the results of the first round, Macron won 27.84, while Le Pen received 23.15 of the total votes, after which thousands of opponents of the extreme right staged protests in an attempt to form a united front to prevent the candidate from Le Pen.

 Le Pen rejected these protests, describing them as undemocratic, and declared (people’s protests against the election results are undemocratic, and I say to all these people, go vote, it’s that simple).

          France adopted the debate between the two candidates as a result of the electoral campaign through a televised debate in which each candidate relies on means of attack and defense to gain the voter’s confidence.

The veil and the war on Ukraine formed the core of the debate between them, where Macron attacked Le Pen’s relationship with Putin and accused her of being dependent on Russia because of a loan she obtained from a Russian bank and warned against her proposal to ban the veil on Muslim women, saying that it “could lead to civil war.”

Le Pen replied that she does not depend on Russia, saying, “I am a completely free and independent woman.” leaving their homes according to the law).

 During the debate, the two candidates did everything in their power to try to persuade the voters, the hesitant ones, and those who abstained from voting in the first round to vote in turnout next Sunday.

        Preliminary polls on voting intentions in the second round showed a preference for Macron with a percentage ranging between 53% and 55.5%, compared to 44.5 and 47% for Le Pen.

But the difference cannot be predicted, so what are the possibilities that can enhance the chances of one candidate over the other? Le Pen’s victory could have international repercussions given her anti-European stance and her desire to withdraw France from the leadership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

 Will Le Pen succeed this time and go down in history as the first woman elected to the presidency of France?

Le Pen said (what will be determined on April 24 will be a choice for society and civilization), pledging to (restore the sovereignty of France).

 Will Le Pen remove the reins of the Elysee power from Macron, or will there be political backstage and strategic studies centers that will resolve the matter in Macron’s favor?

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