With less than a year to go to secure the hearts of the French people, Marine Le Pen, the leader of far-right party National Front, is offering something no other politician has on their agenda – the choice of leaving the EU. She also promised to defend ‘French values’ and ban the burkini.
Giving her annual speech to the nucleus of her political support in Brachay, northeastern France, where she managed to secure the greatest percentage vote in any village in the country in the 2012 presidential election, her nationalist-conservative constituents welcomed her vision.
After announcing her ambitions to join the presidential race earlier this year, Le Pen used the UK’s June decision to leave the European Union to her advantage, promising to hold a similar ‘Frexit’ referendum if elected.
“The British had the courage to choose independence despite all the prophets of doom,” she said.
“This referendum on France belonging to the European Union, I will do it. Yes it is possible to change things. Look at the Brits, they chose their destiny, they chose independence,” Le Pen said. “We can again be a free, proud and independent people.”
National Front which tends to appeal to ultra-conservatives, is often accused of being populist by reflecting on some of the most controversial issues within society.
Without a doubt, the security issues and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the wake of a number of horrific attacks across France will be on every politician’s agenda running for the top seat in the elections, which are expected to be held in April or May of 2017.
With the incumbent president Francois Hollande weakened enough to pose no real electoral challenge, the top seat is practically up for grabs by any candidate from the conservative opposition Republicans party, led by Nicolas Sarkozy, and the National Front, led by Marine Le Pen.
Hollande’s popularity suffered tremendously in wake of the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, and a horrific attack in Nice which took the lives of 84 people. Hollande’s rating also plummeted following his election in 2012, largely due to his inability to promote strong economic growth and bring unemployment down below 10 percent.
As the state of emergency continues to dangle over the Republic, and security concerns reigning on the minds of the Frenchmen, Le Pen used her speech in Brachay to send out a strong message to her rivals.
“All my opponents have contributed to the collapse of France,” Le Pen said before accusing former president Sarkozy of declaring “allegiance to the worldwide leader of Wahabbism,” claiming he is unfit to rule France following his alleged trip to Morocco in August to befriend Saudi King Salman, RFI reports.
Le Pen called the Islamic fundamentalism the “new totalitarianism of the 21st century”, suggested terrorists were hiding among migrants. “The best weapon against terrorism is the ballot,” she said.
Promising to defend ‘French values’, Le Pen referred to the recent bans on the burkini swimsuit, commenting that women “have the same right to freedom, to respect, the same faculty to benefit from the French way of life on the beach as in the schools, on the street as at work.”
Not stopping at the seaside resorts, Le Pen promised to introduce a nationwide ban on the burkini and extend the ban on Islamic headscarves to educational institutions and places of work.
“Our position is unambiguous,” she told her audience. “Whatever their origin, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religion, we only recognize one community, the national community.”
According to a number of recent polls, Le Pen is likely to secure around 28-31 percent in the first round of votes in the presidential election.
Source: Word News