French judges to European Parliament: lift Le Pen's immunity

Trevor Jackson
April 14, 2017

"The caste which is screaming blue murder about me has forgotten it is supposed to be combatting Mrs Le Pen", Melenchon said.

And while general elections are usually a "ratification" of the presidential result, this year promises to be very different, he said.

Horse-trading would begin immediately after the May 7 second round runoff, with parties cutting deals to maximise their respective chances in the two-round June 11-18 parliamentary polls. Melenchon, once a distant fifth place, has risen in recent polls to roughly third, around even with conservative Francois Fillon.

His right-wing Republicans party and the centre-right UDI are allied in more than 90 percent of France's 577 voting districts.

Journalists at weekly Le Canard Enchaine, whose report that Fillon had employed his wife for years as a parliamentary aide triggered a criminal investigation, online newspaper Mediapart and Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche received the death threats in the last six days. Consistently with most other surveys, the poll showed Macron winning that face-off with 63 percent of the vote.

Among the series of "bosses" that Melenchon must take on are the former president Nicolas Sarkozy; the head of the IMF Christine Lagarde; the tax evading politician Jerome Cahuzac; and the L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Hollande, who has been France's president since 2012, said he did not stand as a candidate because he felt he would not get his party's backing. The device hit an insurance office on the ground floor where Le Pen's campaign is based.

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The twice-divorced mother of three has positioned the party instead as an anti-immigrant, Eurosceptic force offering protectionist policies to shelter French workers from globalisation.

The request was made at the end of last month after Le Pen, who is a member of the European Parliament (MEP), invoked her parliamentary immunity in refusing to attend questioning by investigating magistrates.

Le Pen wants to drop the euro currency, a move that would throw the future of the European single currency into doubt, and vows to re-negotiate France's relationship with the European Union, promising a referendum on EU membership if those talks fail.

Some fellow leftists are frustrated that he and Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon didn't join forces; together they enjoy more poll support than anyone else.

Michel Pouzol, a Socialist lawmaker in the Essonne area south of Paris, said local name recognition would swing it for him.

"I'm doing the work that needs to be done", he told reporters.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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