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France ends ugly campaign and draws breath before historic vote

France’s rushed and sometimes violent election campaign is over, brought to an end with stark appeals from political leaders ahead of Sunday’s pivotal vote. Centrist Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Friday night that a far-right government would “unleash hatred and violence”.

But the leader of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, accused his rivals of immoral, anti-democratic behaviour, and he urged voters to mobilise and give him an outright majority. One in three French voters backed National Rally (RN) last Sunday, in the first round of parliamentary elections. The choice a week on is between France’s first far-right government of modern times or political deadlock, and voters fear there is turmoil ahead whoever wins.

The climate is so fraught that 30,000 extra police are being deployed. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said 51 candidates, or their deputies or party activists, had been physically attacked by people of varying backgrounds, including some who were “spontaneously angry”. In one incident, an extremist network published a list of almost 100 lawyers “for eliminating”, after they signed an open letter against National Rally.

Source: BBC

In other news – Only the Lord Almighty could convince me to quit – Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden has said only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to end his bid for re-election, as he sat for a rare primetime interview in an effort to calm Democratic concern over his candidacy.

Joe Biden

Speaking to ABC News on Friday, Mr Biden also declined to take a cognitive test and make the results public in order to reassure voters he is fit to serve another term. Read more 

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