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Emmanuel Macron sets up the duel with the far right

By Claire Gatineau

Posted today at 10:19 a.m., updated at 6:06 p.m.

Is this the specter of an extreme right at the gates of power? Or the search for a dramatic tension capable of mobilizing voters as a dispassionate election approaches? Less than ten days before the first round of the presidential election, on April 10, Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic and candidate for his re-election, sets up the fight. That of an election capable of jeopardizing the democratic and progressive values ​​of the country if the far right and its representative, Marine Le Pen, won.

Promised to face the candidate of the National Rally (RN), in the event of qualification in the second round, the outgoing president stormed, Thursday, March 31, during a trip to Fouras, in Charente-Maritime, against the trivialization of the ideas of the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen. ” We say that [son programme]it’s a nice program, which is like the others, that it’s not the far right”, he denounced. “We must continue to say what the reality of the projects is, while respecting them”, he insisted. “There is a tandem that is there moving forward, with far-right ideas that we have known for a long time, which are carried by a clan and a newcomer. I fight them with force, but I do not trivialize them”, also underlined the candidate, evoking, in the role of the “newcomer”, the former polemicist Eric Zemmour, candidate of the Reconquête! party, who calls himself “philosophically” for the death penalty and defender of Pétain.

Emmanuel Macron in the 2022 presidential campaign in Fouras, Charente-Maritime.  Thursday March 31, 2022.

The offensive launched against Marine Le Pen, self-claimed “candidate of purchasing power” at the bedside of the working classes, relays another, carried out Monday, March 28 in Dijon. Alongside the mayor of the city, the socialist François Rebsabem, now rallied to the head of state, and the senator of the Côte-d’Or, François Patriat, member of the presidential party, the Republic on the move (LRM), Emmanuel Macron had already associated the two opponents in a “tandem” by making it possible “allies”. With Marine le Pen, “we are not angry, we are rivals”, conceded Eric Zemmour on Wednesday on BFM-TV.

“He descends from Olympus”

After having given the impression of not campaigning, remaining in a presidential overhang, donning the clothes of the candidate only in the rare “interstices” of an agenda monopolized by the Russian-Ukrainian war, the tenant of the Elysée seems today to consider his adversaries. “Now we have to return France”, he confided to one of his supporters. If the Head of State still refuses to debate with his competitors before the first round, he attacks them from a distance, choosing his targets and his angles. “He descends from Olympus”, observes Pascal Perrineau, political scientist at Sciences Po, judging that the hitherto distant attitude of the Head of State has reinforced the image of a “arrogant candidate” and “away from people”.

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