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French protests in large numbers against far-right ahead of presidential run-off

France: People in France gathered in large numbers and came to the streets on Saturday, April 16, to oppose the radical right and outgoing President Emmanuel Macron as well as far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the final round of presidential elections.

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France: French gathered in large numbers and came to the streets on Saturday, April 16, to oppose the radical right and outgoing President Emmanuel Macron as well as far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the final round of presidential elections.

According to a FranceInfo report, citing Interior Ministry data, about 22,000 people participated in approximately 50 demonstrations, with 9,200 of them in Paris alone.

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Moreover, the protests were held under the slogan: “Neither Le Pen nor Macron”, which has quickly become a trend one week before the final round of the election. Protesters voiced their displeasure with the two finalists and urged for mass abstention on April 24.

Demonstrators were seen carrying banners that said: “All Against Macron,” “The youth (expletive) on National Rally,” “Against the extreme right,” “Insecurity is hate at the Elysee,” and “Better a vote that stinks than a vote that kills.”

In Paris, police closed metro stations to stop protestors carrying signs and banners from joining the marches.

In several cities, officials rejected permission for the gatherings, citing fears of violence and disruption of the public order.

Furthermore, as per the sources, the demonstrations were organized by trade and workers unions and civil society associations like the League of Human Rights, SOS Racism, Syndicate of the Judiciary and the National Trade Union Center (CGT).

The protests erupted following the results of the first round of voting on April 10, which qualified Macron and Le Pen for the final round.

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There is widespread outrage toward the candidates for promoting right-wing ideology, hatred and violence.

Agitated student groups have blocked campuses of a number of universities this week and are launching campaigns to “oppose the hatred and fascism that are at the gates of the Elysee.”

Le Pen went on to say that these protests are deeply anti-democratic.

According to analysts, if a large number of people vote no in the last round, Macron’s chances of re-election would be affected, and votes will be skewed toward Le Pen.

As per the poll data, voting intentions for Macron are at 55 per cent, while Le Pen has 44 per cent.

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