French election: Paris attack puts security top among rivals

French election: Paris attack puts security top among rivals

The far-right presidential candidate in France, Marine Le Pen, has condemned what she calls security lapses, as the nation prepares to vote in the shadow of a terror attack.

A gunman was shot dead in Paris on Thursday after killing a policeman.

Ms Le Pen has pledged to expel radical Islamists and restore border checks.

Another frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, stressed that France must not panic, because that would play into the terrorists' hands.

The late-night attack on the capital's famous Champs Elysees Avenue, which also left two officers wounded, made security a pressing issue ahead of Sunday's first round of voting in the presidential election.


The main candidates called off rallies on what would have been the final day of campaigning.

Former conservative Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the next president's priority should be fighting "Islamist totalitarianism".

Ms Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN), called for France's border controls to be reinstated immediately, and for foreigners on security watch lists to be expelled.

Security officials say the gunman was known to them and his home in Chelles, in the eastern suburbs of Paris, has been searched. He had been identified as a potential radical Islamist.

The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack in Paris - a city still scarred by bloody IS attacks in 2015.

"We must fight barbarism - none of the French governments for the past 10 years has done enough," Ms Le Pen said.

She spoke of "incredible lapses in the justice system".

Speaking on RTL radio, the liberal centrist Mr Macron told French voters they should "not allow fear to be exploited" by terrorists.

"The assailants want death, symbolism, to sow panic, to disrupt the democratic process - the presidential election," he said.

An Elabe opinion poll, carried out before the shooting on the Champs Elysees, showed Mr Macron with 24% in the first round, and Ms Le Pen falling back slightly to 21.5%.

Mr Fillon was close behind on 20% and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.5%.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Inmarsat's European short-haul wifi spacecraft launches

Inmarsat's European short-haul wifi spacecraft launches..

28-Jun, 21:19

A new Europe-wide wifi service for aeroplanes came a step closer on...

British Army too small, warn US military experts

British Army too small, warn US military experts..

28-Jun, 12:48

The UK should not make further cuts to its military budgets because its...

Celine Dion turned heads in Paris as she stepped out in a ?6,000 Balmain snakeskin coat and a band T-shirt

Celine Dion turned heads in Paris as she stepped out in a ?6,000 Balmain snakeskin coat and a..

28-Jun, 15:54

hellofashion.com / Read more about: Celine Dion fashion news...

Dixons Carphone reports record full-year profits

Dixons Carphone reports record full-year profits..

28-Jun, 03:37

Dixons Carphone's annual profit has surpassed ?500m for the first time,...

Last-minute bargaining keyed passage of GOP health care bill

Last-minute bargaining keyed passage of GOP health care bill..

05-May, 03:26

President Donald Trump was ready to celebrate. On the day House...

Congo court sentences 9 rebels to death over killings

Congo court sentences 9 rebels to death over killings..

10-Mar, 11:14

A Congolese court on Friday sentenced to death nine rebels and acquitted...

Philippine leader names his senator ally new foreign chief

Philippine leader names his senator ally new foreign chief..

10-May, 22:17

A Philippine senator who is a staunch defender of President Rodrigo...

Failure on health bill also hurts prospects for tax overhaul

Failure on health bill also hurts prospects for tax overhaul..

26-Mar, 22:58

House Republicans' failure to repeal Barack Obama's health care law deals...