Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

France's Le Pen loses European Union immunity over IS tweets

France's Le Pen loses European Union immunity over IS tweets

March 4: French far-right leader and a prospective presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, has been summoned by judges over allegations of misusing European Union funds.

In first-round voter intentions, Fillon is trailing behind Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen - whose support has held even though she is caught up in an expenses scandal of her own.

They were addressed to a French television journalist who had likened her National Front party to the Islamic State group, leading police to open a probe into "the dissemination of violent images".

Mr Fillon has dived in the polls since attracting the attention of judges following newspaper claims his Welsh wife and two children had been given fake jobs with public money.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who's leading in polls for the April-May elections, has campaigned in favor of leaving the European Union and against immigration.

Meanwhile, the former front-runner in the French presidential race, Francois Fillon, is polling in third place behind both Le Pen and the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Le Pen called the move "political" and said it was meant to damage her campaign for president.

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With Fillon embroiled in scandals and the Socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, lagging in the polls with a programme that many consider as too left-wing, the last man standing against Le Pen could be Macron.

François Fillon will withdraw from the French presidential race next week if a rally of his supporters called for Sunday in Paris fails to be the show of force he expects, one of his closest aides told POLITICO.

In Germany, Social Democratic Party candidate Martin Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, has suddenly appeared to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel; dubbed a "politically correct populist", Mr. Schulz has made no secret of his disregard for Mr. Trump and has adopted the slogan "Make Europe Great Again". If Fillon was replaced by Juppe, the new Republican candidate would be on track to lead in the first round of voting, according to Odoxa. Then he went further, saying that France's entire presidential election was being taken out by an over-eager judicial process that was bulldozing the campaign. She later denied having said so.

Le Pen has not yet commented on Thursday's decision to lift her immunity, which only applies to the investigation into her tweets.

"Daesh is THIS!" Le Pen wrote, in a series of vitriolic tweets that included photographs of killings by IS in late 2014.

Macron lays out his platform Thursday on an upswing, as pressure mounts on conservative rival Francois Fillon, facing charges that he arranged taxpayer-funded jobs for his family that they never performed.

Current polls suggest Macron and Le Pen have the best chances of finishing on top in the first round vote, followed by Fillon, and that Macron would easily win the runoff.

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