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Marine Le Pen ravaged, huge meetings for Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Eric Zemmour: The main presidential candidates play big on Sunday exactly two weeks before the first round. Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has called on the French to go and vote.

“I say to all our countrymen: the election is the best way to make your choices (…) Go and vote and look at the project that is closest to your aspirations, whatever it is,” M Macron declared in France 3. He called for “mobilization” while the risk of a strong abstinence in the first round on April 10 hovers.

On the eve of the opening of the official campaign, he also again directly rejected the critics who accused him of fleeing the debate, in a campaign that was stifled by the Covid-19 crisis, which was then crushed by the war in Ukraine. He justified himself with the use of consulting firms, including McKinsey, saying it was “wrong” to suggest that there would be “schemes”.

Before returning to the pitch on Monday in Dijon, he defended his criticized plan to raise the retirement age to 65 by promising “consultation” and “goodwill”.

“Unacceptable scene”

The presidential candidate is still given at the top of the voting intentions in the first round (28.5% according to a Sopra-Steria poll published on Saturday). He said he was “shocked” by the disruption of the recording in Guadeloupe of an interview with candidate RN Marine Le Pen given for several months in the second round against him. A “completely unacceptable scene,” he said.

Spokesmen for Ms. Le Pen (17.5% according to SopraSteria) condemned the actions of “extreme left activists” who invaded the show’s set and “pushed quite violently” the candidate.

With this trip without a big meeting, Marine Le Pen is cultivating his refocus – to the annoyance of the Macron camp, who see it as “a real risk”. The increasingly radical proposals from his far-right rival Eric Zemmour are helping to level his image.

It also plays counter-programming, facing Eric Zemmour’s coveted giant meeting at the Trocadero in Paris, with dozens of buses chartered to transport Reconquest militants! comes from all over France to try to ward off his reflux in the polls, about 10%.

“Opinion polls do not say how we feel on the ground. Marine Le Pen has no dynamics on the ground,” former regional councilor RN Lyonnaise Agnès Marion confirmed to AFP at noon. Support for Eric Zemmour, sovereign Philippe de Villiers promised this morning, in a video on Twitter, the demonstration by virtue of “France of the hidden voice”.

Useful poll

On the left, LFI candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon (12 to 15% in the polls), for his part, at a meeting that also wanted to be huge, on the Prado beach in Marseille, confirms his hopes of reaching the second round. He intends to emphasize the need for a useful vote with voters from ecologist Yannick Jadot, socialist Anne Hidalgo or communist Fabien Roussel.

At a meeting in Toulouse, Fabien Roussel condemned the “joint program” of “Macron, Zemmour, Le Pen”, dictated, according to him, “by Medef”, and thought it was “time for cigars to change mouth”.

Yannick Jadot, for his part, arrived at the Zénith de Paris by bicycle with the aim of relaunching a skating campaign (6% in the polls) by gathering 5,000 people. For candidate LR Valérie Pécresse (around 10% in the polls), who suffers from Covid-19, Sunday will only be the occasion for a video conference with activists.

War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine, which has forced all candidates to position themselves while international issues are traditionally far from the concerns of voters during a presidential election, also still records interviews on Sunday.

Emmanuel Macron warned of an “escalation of words and actions in Ukraine”, following the remarks of US President Joe Biden, who called Vladimir Putin a “butcher”.

Marine Le Pen, who always insists on the consequences of the war on the purchasing power of the French, has on France 3 assessed that the purchase of gas grouped by the EU was “not to create savings”. Jean-Luc Mélenchon lamented the import of “anti-organic” shale gas from the United States.

Home stretch

It is for the entire home stretch in the race for the Elysée, with from Monday the entry into force of the stringent rules of the official campaign, which will put the 12 candidates on an equal footing in the media. However, those below 3% of voting intentions still protested on Sunday.

“Equality is a smart word for inequality,” Nicolas Dupont Aignan (Debout la France) told France Inter, while Jean Lassalle (Résistons!) Called for “resistance to this violent system, which is a soft dictatorship”. Nathalie Arthaud (LO) condemned a widespread “problem of pluralism” in society itself beyond this campaign.

This article has been published automatically. Sources: ats / afp

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