French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen vows to end immigration if elected

Paris: Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the French presidential election, has said she would suspend all legal immigration to France if elected president.

File image of Marine Le Pen. Reuters

File image of Marine Le Pen. Reuters

The National Front (FN) leader told a rally that she wanted to stop "a mad, uncontrolled situation", reported BBC on Tuesday.

At a rally in Paris, Le Pen said, "I would decide on a moratorium on all legal immigration to stop this frenzy, this uncontrolled situation that is dragging us down".

After that, she said, France would introduce "much more drastic, more reasonable, more humane, more manageable rules" on immigration.

Left-wing daily Liberation called it "one of the most hardline speeches of her campaign", aimed at satisfying grassroots supporters.

In all, 11 candidates are competing in the first round, BBC said.

Several polls suggest Le Pen is neck and neck with centrist Emmanuel Macron, ahead of Sunday's first round of voting, according to media reports.

Opinion polls suggest Macron and Le Pen will reach the second round on 7 May run-off.

According to an Elabe poll for news channel BFMTV, Macron is on course to get 24 percent of the vote in the first round, Le Pen 23 percent, conservative Francois Fillon 19.5 percent, and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon 18 percent.

Polls suggest that Macron would be favourite to win in the run-off.

Le Pen said the choice for French voters was between her rivals' "savage globalisation" and her patriotism.

Outside the venue, dozens of protesters, who had sought to disrupt her rally, clashed with the police.

Meanwhile, Macron addressed almost 20,000 supporters at the Bercy national indoor arena.

"We are going to turn the page on the last 20 years because our generation is ready for change," he said.

On the issue of France's role in the EU, he said: "We need Europe, so we will remake it. I will be the president of the awakening of our European ambitions."

Macron, a former investment banker running for his self-created En Marche (On the move) party, turned his fire on his opponents.

He said ten of the 11 candidates wanted to take France back to a "fantasy of the past".


Updated Date: Apr 18, 2017 16:58 PM

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