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Friday, 21 April 2017 09:24

Security dominates French election after shooting

Written by  Reuters

PARIS France said its security forces were fully mobilized for a presidential election at the weekend after the killing of a policeman by an Islamist militant threw a dark shadow over the last day of an unpredictable campaign.

With the first round of voting in the two-stage election due to take place on Sunday, centrist Emmanuel Macron still held on to his position as frontrunner in the closely contested race.

An Elabe survey of voter intentions, carried out before the Thursday night shooting on the Champs Elysees shopping avenue in central Paris, showed Macron with 24 percent of the first-round vote and far right leader Marine Le Pen falling back slightly to 21.5 percent.

Two other candidates - former conservative prime minister Francois Fillon and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon - were snapping at their heels with 20 and 19.5 percent respectively.

Campaigning and the publication of voter surveys are banned from midnight on Friday until polling stations close. Sunday's round of voting will be followed by a second-round runoff on May 7 between the top two candidates.

The Champs Elysees attack was claimed by militant group Islamic State. One attacker was killed and officials said they were looking for a potential second suspect.

Read more at Reuters

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