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France Voting for President Today

This Sunday morning this first round of voting for their president. According to French news agency AFP 25% of the 47 million potential voters are undecided on whom to vote. According to Reuters the number of undecided voters is 31%.  These numbers are the highest in decades.

There are 11 contenders for president, among them are; Marine le-Pen from the far right, Emmanuel Macron leading his independent En Marche Party politically in the middle, Francois Fillon from the Republican party and Jean-Luc Mélenchon who leads the ‘La France Insoumise’ Party which means the ‘Defiant France’ party which he started in February 2016 with the support of the far left and communists.

Le-Pen is known on her strong views against immigrants and the display of religious symbols in the public arena. This morning Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of France was quoted on the JTA website saying that if the extreme right Le-Pen wins the election, Jews should pack their bags and leave France.

Le-Pen recently said she would prohibit wearing a kippah in public and make the possession of 2 passports illegal forcing citizens like Jews who may also have an Israeli passport to choose which one they’d like to keep. She claims that this is not meant to harm the Jews but a necessary step in fighting Islam.

Extraordinary security precautions are in effect for Election Day in France, including over 50,000 police and security personnel watching over 70,000 ballot stations. 7,000 soldiers will patrol the streets.

Round 2 of the presidential elections will take place on May 7th. The 2 leaders from this election will be voted on in that election.


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