French presidential elections: conservative candidate's woes deepen with nod to far-right

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Valérie Pécresse, the presidential election candidate for the conservative Les Républicains party, on Sunday held what was billed as a key speech to re-boot her struggling campaign, dogged by defections, infighting, and the pull exerted on her electorate by the two far-right candidates with whom she lies neck-and-neck in opinion polls. Her speech, however, has only added to her woes, after it was slammed on Monday by party officials for borrowing far-right rhetoric, and dismissed by media commentators as a lacklustre performance. Ilyes Ramdani, who was at the meeting, reports.

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The conservative Les Républicains (LR) party presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse attempted in vain to kick-start her stuttering campaign on Sunday with a speech before more than 7,000 supporters who had gathered at the Zénith arena in northern Paris.