The Latest: French artists back Macron at free concert
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on France’s presidential election (all times local):
Musicians, artists and dancers are calling for voters to celebrate France’s cultural diversity and keep far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen from becoming president.
At a free concert Tuesday at the Paris Philharmonic, prominent cultural figures urged support for centrist Emmanuel Macron instead. Macron and Le Pen are facing off in a high-stakes runoff election on Sunday.
Philharmonic director Laurent Bayle said: “We who want to keep living in societies based on differences, we need step up the effort through this week and call a maximum of people to spread our message of friendship.”
Actress Celine Sallette said: “We need to defend the arts that make us feel uncomfortable, elevate us, move us or make us think, making us more human. We need to stand together to defend, liberty, equality and brotherhood.”
Le Pen has promised to curb immigration to France, if she is elected.
French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says the verbatim parts of a former rival’s speech that she used in one of her own campaign addresses was a “wink” and that she “totally owns” it.
Le Pen said in an interview on TV channel TF1 news Tuesday night that the deliberate quotation was also intended to create a media “buzz” because “that’s the only thing you are interested in.”
Le Pen borrowed from a speech delivered last month by Francois Fillon, the former conservative candidate, about France’s important role in Europe and the world.
The far-right hopeful added that her party and Fillon’s voters share “the same vision of France, of its greatness, of the role it should have in the world.”
Poland’s Foreign Ministry is denouncing French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s comparison of Poland’s government to the “regimes” of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Hungary’s Viktor Orban.
Macron made his remarks at a Paris rally on Monday ahead of the Sunday runoff between himself and populist Marine Le Pen.
At a Paris rally, he said: “You know the friends and allies of Mrs. Le Pen. These are the regimes of Orban, Kaczynski and Putin. They are not open and free democracies.”
Jaroslaw Kaczynski is the chairman of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice party and the country’s most powerful politician.
The ministry said Macron used “unacceptable comparisons and mental shortcuts that lead to errors in public opinion” and denied that Poland is an ally of Le Pen.
Marine Le Pen’s spokesmen have acknowledged that the French far-right candidate offered up a speech that, in many parts, copied around 90 seconds of one by a former presidential candidate, and called it a “wink” toward him and his supporters.
Francois Fillon, the former Republicans candidate, first delivered the speech extolling France and its virtues on April 15, just two weeks before Le Pen’s discourse on Monday.
Three separate spokesmen for Le Pen used the word “wink” to describe the extracts copied word for word from Fillon. “I think with part of the right, we have exactly the same vision on the national identity and independence,” Louis Aliot, Front National vice president, told LCI television Tuesday.
Fillon has called for his supporters to back her centrist rival, Emmanuel Macron.
French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is promising an ethics bill that will block office-holders from conflicts of interest, nepotism and other ethical issues that have infuriated voters.
Macron, who started his own political movement just a year ago, also promised he could get a legislative majority to pass the measure and others he says France needs to pull itself from the economic doldrums.
Legislative elections are in June, and whoever is president will depend on lawmakers to implement an agenda.
Candidates of the two main parties, the Socialists and the Republicans, failed to make it to the presidential runoff for the first time in modern French history. Macron, who has pulled support from both wings, said Tuesday candidates will have to quit their parties to run in his movement.