French President Francois Hollande vows to ‘do everything’ to stop Marine Le Pen victory

March 6, 2017 10:30 pm

French President delivers a speech as he attends an inauguration ceremony in Villognon, central , on February 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Outgoing President Francois Hollande has warned against a France ruled by far-right National Front presidential candidate , vowing to “do everything” in his power to prevent it from happening.
Hollande made the comments in an interview with European newspapers on Monday, saying Le Pen posed a “threat” to France and the European Union, adding that his “ultimate duty” was to prevent a victory of the far-right leader in this year’s presidential election.
“My ultimate duty is to make sure that France is not won over by such a program, and that France does not bear such a heavy responsibility,” Hollande said of a possible victory by Le Pen in the upcoming election.
The outgoing president said France “is aware that the vote on April 23 and May 7 will determine not only the fate of our country but also the future of the European project itself.”

Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front party candidate for France’s presidential election, speaks at a forum in Puteaux, near Paris, on March 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Hollande stressed that Le pen’s victory “would immediately open a process of exit from the eurozone and even from the EU,” noting, “My last duty is to do everything possible so that France is not convinced by such a project.”
Le Pen, who is known for her anti-immigrant rhetoric, has promised that if she won the presidency she would hold a referendum on France’s exit from the EU.
Recent opinion polls suggest that the far-right leader is likely to win the first round of France’s election on April 23 with around 27 percent of votes, but would lose in the run-off on May 7 either to centrist and pro-EU Emmanuel Macron or conservative candidate Francois Fillon.

Emmanuel Macron, French presidential election candidate for the “En Marche” movement, gestures as he gives a speech during a campaign meeting in Caen, northwestern France, on March 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The predictions are made at a time when Le Pen and Fillon are both facing allegations of misusing public money.
European Union officials claim Le Pen, also a member of the European Parliament (MEP), used EU funds to pay a total of €340,000 to her bodyguard and a Paris-based assistant.
Fillon is also facing allegations over claims that he paid his British wife nearly €830,000 as a parliamentary assistant for more than a decade, and also paid his two eldest children a total of €84,000 as assistants while he was a senator.

Francois Fillon, the French presidential election candidate for the right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party, delivers a speech to present his program during a campaign meeting in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, on March 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Fillon has described the allegations as “entirely calculated to stop me being a candidate for the presidential election” and has ruled out stepping aside for another candidate from his party.
According to a new poll conducted in France, conservative politician Alain Juppe would certainly reach a second round of the election in the country if he replaces Fillon.
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