Fears that a high abstention rate could help far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in France's presidential runoff strengthened on Tuesday when two-thirds of far-left supporters said they intend to abstain or cast a blank ballot. An internal survey of supporters of defeated far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon showed only 35% would back pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron, Le Pen's rival and the frontrunner.
Two Frenchmen arrested in Marseille on Tuesday planned an “imminent and violent attack” ahead of the first round of the presidential election on Sunday, France's interior minister said. France's internal intelligence agency, which had been looking for the two suspects for more than a week, had warned main candidates in the election that there was a threat to their security, campaign officials said.
Former presidential candidate Alain Juppe said on Monday he would not run again despite calls within the conservative Les Republicains party for him to replace the increasingly isolated Francois Fillon, who faces defeat over a phony jobs scandal.
French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday he would not seek a second term in next year's presidential election, a surprise move that clears the way for an alternative left-wing candidate, most probably his prime minister Manuel Valls.
Francois Fillon, a socially conservative free-market, won France’s center-right presidential primaries on Sunday, setting up a likely showdown next year with far-right leader Marine Le Pen that the pollsters expect him to win. Fillon, who went into Sunday’s second-round run-off as firm favorite, had won over 67% of the vote in a head-to-head battle with another ex-prime minister, Alain Juppe.
Official French documents will no longer force women to reveal their marital status by requiring them to choose the title Mademoiselle or Madame.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said his country is likely to face new jolts from the Euro zone debt crisis amid rumors it could lose its triple-A credit rating.