But French authorities confirmed they would not be investigating the potential electoral fraud until after the election, maintaining that retrospective prosecution may be possible.
The anti-Le Pen ploy is aimed at giving most French nationals living abroad a bigger say, as most French voters outside France don’t support Le Pen. In Britian, London’s French population is already huge, numbering the inhabitants of France’s sixth largest city.
Emmanuel Macron could largely benefit from this catastrophic double ballot error, as far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has surged in the polls recently and threatens to break into the leadership race edging out Macron.
Mélenchon is enjoying a spectacular late surge of support in the country’s most unpredictable presidential race in modern times after the launch of a video game in which he plays the star. In the game, “bleed-the-rich”, his character shakes rivals – including Macron and IMF chief Christine Lagarde – until coins shower from their pockets.
An IFOP Fiducial survey on Wednesday even named the leader of La France Insoumise [Unbowed France] movement as the country’s favourite politician. “The rise of Jean-Luc Mélenchon totally re-deals the cards just days from the first round,” says Frédéric Dabi, head of IFOP.
Both Le Pen and Mélenchon are anti-American, anti-Merkel, anti-globalist, anti-NATO and pro-Putin.
French judges have meanwhile demanded that the European Parliament lift presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s immunity.
Le Pen is being accused of using her parliamentary aides for party activities, an alleged misuse of European Union funds.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday that a request was filed March 29 to lift Le Pen’s immunity as a member of the European Parliament.
Rodolphe Bosselut, Le Pen’s attorney, said in February that she won’t comply with any summons until after the election.
She has denied any wrongdoing and says the summons form part of “political dirty tricks. .
European lawmakers lifted Le Pen’s immunity in a separate case in March concerning social media posts in which she defended her party against allegations that her supporters were like “ISIS”, and tweeted graphic photos from ISIS beheadings.