Le Pen urged voters to call for a referendum on Macron’s “incompetent” leadership. Her message to the tens of thousands of protesters who have staged weekly protests against the French president since November, was to get rid of Macron by Spring.
“In the context of the healthy popular revolt of the Yellow Vests, this election offers a chance to end this crisis born of the intransigence and contempt of an incompetent president whose behaviour is disturbing,” she said, adding: “If Macron does not have the wisdom to go back to the people by dissolving parliament, then let the political arbitrage come from European elections.”
Although the leader of the National Rally [Rassemblement National], is not running in the European election as she wants to remain in the French parliament, she presented the 23-year-old Jordan Bardella as the NR’s leading candidate for May.
Bardella told his audience: ”In Italy and Austria, our allies are governing. A better tomorrow is within our grasp.”
An RN supporter at Sunday’s rally, Sebastien Lefevre, said that the party could count on the Yellow Vest vote. “And from what I understand from the polls, most of the yellow vests would vote for us.”
Her supporters repeatedly shouted “Macron, resignation!”
Demonstrations have been staged over the last nine weekends, with police outnumbering the protesters in order to quell the ongoing unrest.
Since the start of the protests, Le Pen’s RN has gained in the polls with a mid-December Ifop survey showing 24 percent support against 18 percent for Macron’s La République En Marche!.
Bardella officially took the floor for the first time as head of the NR list for the European elections speaking to some 2 000 supporters at the Mutualité, in Paris.
The next 11 candidates of the list of the National Rally (RN) for the European elections of May 2019 were also announced.
As a preamble to his speech, Bardella spoke about the current citizen movement as symptomatic of the “distress” expressed by the French. “This eruption of the people in the public debate is scary to some: not us!” he said.
“I can assure you that when you grow up in Seine-Saint-Denis, you are exactly in the right place to see, observe, live and suffer all the drifts of the country. Delinquency […], the ravages of mass immigration […]. Terrorism finally… confined to my home in 2015, when the police stormed the Bataclan terrorists. ”
Meanwhile, the local branch of French President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM has demanded that a Facebook page belonging to the Yellow Vests be removed due to “hate messages.”
The LREM branch in the department of Sarthe, complained about the negative comments France Bleu reported. The Yellow Vest Movement has largely been organised online.
In a LREM press release, it was announced that the Le Mans public prosecutor would be investigating the group over allegations of disturbing the public order.
The Colère 72 Facebook group with 27 000 members, has so far not been taken down by despite the request from the LREM branch.
The movement has demanded a citizen-initiated poll which would allow citizens to vote on laws, repeal laws, remove elected officials from office or even amend the French constitution by popular referendum.