During the last days of the French Presidential race, there have been several polemic declarations from both leading candidates: Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.

In one hand, Le Pen has been compared by experts with the current U.S. President Donald Trump, as she is considered a far-right politician, with a nationalist ideology biasing some postures in different issues. Le Pen officially launched her candidacy this Sunday, as her party released a program for the campaign. The program includes 144 “commitments” that Le Pen would have if she is elected.

France Elections
The leader of France’s far-right Front National political party and candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections Marine Le Pen delivers a speech during the Front National political rally and start of her presidential campaign in Lyon, France, 5 February 2017. Image credit: EFE/EPA/ARNOLD JEROCKI.

On the other hand, there is Emmanual Macron, a centrist politician who was Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs under Hollande’s Administration. Macron, 39, represents a big surprise in the election, as his youth seems unnatural to the office he is aiming to achieve.

Le Pen: ‘the division is no longer right-left, it is patriot-globalist’

Marine Le Pen is the current president of the nationalist conservative political party “National Front” (FN), and she is an attorney by profession. She is known for slacking some of the most radical postures of the FN party and its position on same-sex marriage. She also supports unconditional abortion, and the withdraw of the death penalty from her platform.

In one of the last speeches she gave, she talked about two kinds of totalitarianism that are threatening France presently. One of them is globalization, a process that she (and her party) have bashed year after year. The other type of totalitarianism is Islamic fundamentalism, as she thinks that this is the greatest threat.

Le Pen, French Elections
Leader of France’s far-right Front National political party and candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections Marine Le Pen (C) delivers a speech during the Front National political rally and start of her presidential campaign in Lyon, France, 05 February 2017. Image credit: EFE/EPA/ARNOLD JEROCKI.

These two subjects have received persistent critics from Le Pen and the FN. Experts admit that this campaign focus is making Le Pen a serious contestant on this election. Le Pen has already been a presidential candidate as she lost to Hollande in 2012.

Le Pen says that France is “at a crossroad… This election is a choice of civilization.” During that particular speech, she asked if her kids and any other young citizen would be able to have the same rights and culture than the earlier generation. “Will they even speak our French language?” she wondered at the very end.

In the program presented by her party last Saturday, health care, work policies, and other services are the principal objectives, with the presence of an important posture: drastic immigration reduction in the next year. Le Pen has assured, over and over, that her priority are the French, and the public services should be oriented to citizens, not foreigners.

The official slogan for Le Pen’s campaign is “In the Name of the People,” a motto that echoes Trump’s “Americans first.” Le Pen, in fact, refers to the French people as “patriots” that no matter their political postures must unite to recover France.

Le Pen and the Islamic

The presidential candidate has stated that no French person that has dignity can accept the cultural dangers that Muslim people bring to the country. Veils, mosques and public praying are considered dangerous by Le Pen, as she says that globalization is erasing France while Islamic fundamentalism is “planting itself in some neighborhoods … and vulnerable minds.”

She also said that no person that is currently living in France illegally would receive the nationality if she becomes president in the next spring.

French Elections, Le Pen
“When you arrive in a country, you don’t start violating laws, demanding rights. There will be no other laws and values in France but French,” she said in reference to what she calls “massive immigration.” Image credit: EFE/EPA/ARNOLD JEROCKI.

In the program presented by the FN, one of Le Pen’s commitments is to reduce the immigration number to 10,000 as she is looking forward to repealing all the family reunification programs that have provoked many immigrants to enter the country from former French colonies in Africa.

Le Pen hopes the EU would be just a ‘bad memory’

Le Pen’s proposals are made under the principle that France will not be shackled by the European Union and other organizations like NATO. She has qualified the EU as an organization that is a “master on enslaving its members.”

One of her proposals if she is elected President is to start a referendum on the EU in the subsequent six months from the election. She said that she would travel to Brussels to discuss different subjects like borders and currency, as she is sure that other countries will follow France’s initiative. Le Pen hopes to return to the franc as the official currency and exit the EU as soon as possible.

“All agree the EU is a failure. It hasn’t upheld one of its promises especially in terms of prosperity and security. Worse, it’s imposed a form of tutelage, keeping us on a short leash,” Le Pen told the cheering crowd in the last FN conference.

Le Pen has classified Brexit as the “awakening of the people against oligarchies.” Le Pen is leading early polls as Macron took advantage of the scandal from the other candidate, Francois Fillon, to get near Le Pen. The election will be held on April 23.

Source: The New York Times