France holding regional elections, far-right party aims to gain

PARIS,  France is holding first-round regional elections Sunday, where the far-right National Front party is expected to make gains in the first electoral test since the Isis attacks on Paris last month.

France is holding first-round regional elections Sunday, where the far-right National Front party is expected to make gains in the first electoral test since the Islamic State's attacks on Paris last month. A run-off election will be held Dec. 13. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo
France is holding first-round regional elections Sunday, where the far-right National Front party is expected to make gains in the first electoral test since the Islamic State’s attacks on Paris last month. A run-off election will be held Dec. 13. Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI | License Photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elections are being held to select representatives for the 13 regions of domestic France and four overseas territories, BBC News reports.

The National Front (FN), an anti-immigration and anti-European Union party led by Marine Le Pen, is the third largest political party in France. It has never controlled a French region, but polls indicate an FN lead in several of the country’s 13 regions.

Le Pen, 47, is expected to win the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region of France and her 25-year-old niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen may win the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.

The election is being held under a state of emergency, which was declared after the Islamic State’s coordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed at least 130 people. A run-off election will be held Dec. 13.

Nearly 1 million migrants are expected to cross into the European Union by the end of the year, largely fleeing from the Syrian civil war.

Le Pen told CNN that she believes Europe’s acceptance of migrants on a large scale is “crazy.”

“I had also warned… the authorities very clearly that there will be in these immigrants terrorists, who will infiltrate… and that’s exactly what has happened,” Le Pen said. “Given this kind of huge threat, which is literally a declaration of war to France, we cannot take the risk.”

Regions in France have significant say on matters of education, transportation and economic development. Le Pen, who will be a likely contender in France’s 2017 presidential election, is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the FN.

By Andrew V. Pestano

UPI NEWS