Keyword: 2017 French presidential elections

French presidential frontrunner Macron in phone talks with Obama

The centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, leading polls before first-round voting on Sunday, held a phone conversation with former US president Barack Obama on Thursday, giving the former economy minister a clear boost just as his rivals are narrowing the gap between frontrunners.

Leftist Mélenchon wears velvet glove to reach French election knockout round

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With just days to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is mounting a serious challenge to the frontrunners, with opinion polls this week placing him neck-and-neck against conservative candidate François Fillon, and ever closer to the far-right’s Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron, the longstanding favourites now losing ground. Christophe Gueugneau followed the firebrand’s last major meeting this week, when Mélenchon, who wants to install a Sixth Republic with stronger powers for parliament, a system of regular referenda, and a renegotiation of EU treaties, attempted to reassure voters that he is not the anti-democratic revolutionary his detractors claim him to be.

Could voters in tough French suburbs swing election surprise?

In the 'banlieues', the urban rings of high-rise, run-down housing estates where about seven percent of the French population lives, many are disillusioned with five years of Socialist Party rule, an electorate which radical-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, gaining ground in opinion polls just days before the first-round vote, is tapping in to.

Far-right French presidential candidate pledges to suspend immigration

Front National party leader Marine Le Pen, who opinion polls place second in voting intentions for the first-round this Sunday, has said that if elected she would introduce 'a moratorium on all legal immigration to stop this frenzy, this uncontrolled situation that is dragging us down'.

How Mélenchon's spin doc was inspired by Bernie Sanders' campaign

Sophia Chikirou, the French presidential election campaign communications director for radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, spent three months last year as a volunteer with the campaign team of Democrat presidential nominee contender Bernie Sanders, when she learnt how to offset a low budget with use of social media, the internet and hi-tech.  

Two arrested in Marseille over suspected election terror attack plot

Two men of French nationality aged 23 and 29 were arrested Tuesday morning in the southern city of Marseille when, according to the French interior minister, bomb-making chemicals and weapons were found in what the authorities suspect was a plan to launch a terrorist attack during this weeks French presidential election campaigning.

Fillon benefactor reveals 'pressure' for his silence and why his memoirs are on hold

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Robert Bourgi. © Reuters Robert Bourgi. © Reuters

Lawyer Robert Bourgi, 72, is a veteran figure of “la Françafrique”, the once-rife secret and corrupt network of relations between successive French and despotic African governments, which included the illegal funding of French politicians and parties in return for favours and protection. His name resurfaced last month in the scandal-hit presidential election campaign of conservative candidate François Fillon, when Bourgi revealed it was he who offered Fillon two expensive tailor-made suits, raising further questions over Fillon’s probity and political independence. In this interview from Beirut, where he is sitting out the rest of the election campaign, Bourgi gave Mediapart his version of his relationship with Fillon, who he says asked him to deny being a benefactor, and lifts the lid on the murky practices in French politics. His account offers an insight into decades of political corruption.

Polls show outsiders gaining ground on French election frontrunners

With just days to go before voting begins in the first round of the French presidential elections, latest opinion polls gave a narrowing lead for the frontrunners, centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-right's Marine le Pen, with scandal-hit conservative François Fillon and radical-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon chasing close behind.

Introducing the 'Hollande law', a take on that of Godwin

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Au revoir, or 'Salut l'artiste!': François Hollande. Au revoir, or 'Salut l'artiste!': François Hollande.

As he prepares to leave office with the approach of the presidential elections, François Hollande is faced with the track-record of his term as head of state, and it is a vertiginous one argues Mediapart political commentator Hubert Huertas. He leaves behind him a Socialist Party in tatters and while handing his support to Emmanuel Macron, his former advisor and economy minister, who slammed the door in Hollande's face to run for the presidency on a centrist ticket.

French prosecutors ask EU to lift Le Pen immunity

Prosecutors leading an investigation into far-right Front National party leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's involvement in a suspected 'fake jobs' scandal at the European Parliament have asked the institution to lift her parliamentary immunity from questioning and prosecution.

Hollande slams buoyant radical-left presidential candidate Mélenchon

In an interview with a weekly news magazine, socialist French president François Hollande attacked radical-left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, currently on the rise in opinion surveys, for campaigning on 'generalisations and lies', while also lending thinly-veiled support for maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron. 

Suspected arson attack on Front National offices in central Paris

A fire at the entrance to the presidential election campaign offices of the far-right party's leader and candidate Marine Le Pen close to the Elysée Palace caused minor damage in what police said was a suspected arson attack. 

Macron against unilateral French recognition of Palestinian state

French presidential election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has said a go-alone recognition by Paris of a Palestinian state would undermine 'France's ability to play a role in regional stability and in this conflict'.

How Syrian crisis entered the French presidential election

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The decision by United States president Donald Trump to launch air strikes against the regime in Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons has created waves in France's election campaign. Most of the presidential candidates have been critical of the unilateral American action. Two notable exceptions are Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon and, to a lesser extent, the independent candidate and favourite Emmanuel Macron. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on how the candidates for the Elysée have reacted to the Syrian crisis.

Berlin watches anxiously as France poll approaches

Germany doubts any of the presidential candidates will tackle the political and economic problems faced by their French neighbours.