Cyprus Mail
World

French PM says far-right win would open road to civil war

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls

France’s Socialist prime minister warned on Friday of a slide towards ‘civil war’ if the far-right National Front wins power in regional polls this weekend as a stepping stone toward its 2017 presidential election campaign.

Manuel Valls, head of the Socialist national government, is waging a fierce battle to keep Front leader Marine Le Pen from power, going as far as urging left-wingers to back mainstream right-wingers in regions where Le Pen and her camp could win.

“We have reached a historic moment where the bottom line for our country is a choice between two options,” said Valls. “One is the extreme right, which basically stands for division, a division that can lead to civil war.”

The other option, he said in a radio interview, was to vote for what the French call republican values, meaning a country open to people of diverse cultures as long as they accept the underlying rules and authority of the secular state.

The National Front, an anti-immigrant, anti-EU party which wants to ditch the euro currency, secured the biggest number of votes – 27.7 per cent – in the first round ballot last Sunday.

With two days to the final ballot, and latest opinion polls suggesting a very tight contest with the FN slightly behind in its key regions, Marine Le Pen dismissed Valls’ civil war salvo as a “delirious outburst”.

“Let me remind the prime minister that the war being waged against France today is being waged by Islamist fundamentalists bottle-fed by a laxist, sectarian Socialist Party,” she said.

Le Pen came first in the opening round with more than 40 per cent of the vote in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie.

Her niece Marion Marechal-Le-Pen likewise topped the vote in a key southeastern region that includes the Riviera coast called Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur (PACA).

Since then, the third-placed Socialist Party has pulled out of the race in both those key regions, urging its supporters to back Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republicans in the Dec. 13 run-offs.

Polls published on Wednesday and Thursday however suggest that Valls’ drastic electoral tactics might work, with their conservative adversaries pulling ahead in the runoff round.



Related posts

Eastern-based Libyan parliament asks Egypt to intervene in war

Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes

EU countries divided over plans for tougher climate goal

Greece says Turkey is being ‘petty’ over Hagia Sophia

France scales down Bastille Day parade in concession to virus

Hong Kong to impose most severe social distancing restrictions

4 comments

Comments are closed.