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Warning on Far Right in France After Election

15/04/2022

A Gaullist, that is, centre-right candidate in the French Presidential election, the first round of which was held on Sunday 10th April, has warned that “the far right has never been closer to power” in the Fifth Republic.  This is something of an embarrassment for many French people, given that the country prides itself on the Resistance and Partisan movements that fought the Nazi occupiers during the Second World War.  News Channel France24 reported that the warning for the future came from Republican Party candidate Valery Pecresse.  Twelve candidates stood in the election, but there were many splinter factions standing on the side of progressive parties.  For example, the Greens, La France Insoumise, Partie Verte, Parti Communiste, Parti Socialiste, New Anti-Capitalist Party and Workers Struggle all have policy platforms which will appeal to many LGBTQIA people.  However, their candidates split the queer vote.  Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron of the Republique en Marche Party polled 28% of votes cast.  He will go to a run off second round of voting against Marine Le Pen, commonly regarded as an ultra rightist candidate, and her party called National Rally.  Le Pen polled around 24 per cent of the vote in the first round.  The abstention rate in the election was 26 per cent.  Radio France Internationale noted that another hard right candidate, Eric Zemmour of the Reconquete Party, had a dismal result of seven per cent of votes cast.  Zemmour was openly homophobic and a heterosexual supremacist, whereas Marine Le Pen has attempted to distance herself from the more extremist homophobic positions of her father, the neo-fascist Jean Marie Le Pen, who famously described the Nazi holocaust against Jewish people as a “mere detail” of history.   

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