Left-wing French students mull abstention in presidential election

Saint Denis, France, Apr 20 (EFE).- With under a week left until election day in France, some student groups are leaning towards abstention, unhappy with the candidates they have been left to choose from.

France’s incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, a liberal-centrist, will go head to head with far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s runoff election.

“What is Macron doing to attract left-wing votes? Why doesn’t he come to seek our support? He has hated us for five years,” Joséphine, a student in political science, tells Efe.

Joséphine is one of the thousands of left-wing students protesting outside the Saint Denis University on the outskirts of Paris on Wednesday.

“We are facing a fascist danger (Le Pen) or an ultra-liberal and ultra-repressive government (Macron), which some see as tending towards fascism,” Emma, who like Joséphine, is a political science student, tells Efe.

Left-wing candidate Jean Luc Mélenchon took the third-highest share of votes in the first round of the election, falling short of Le Pen and Macron.

A mass abstention of traditional Mélenchon voters in the second round could hand the victory on Sunday to Le Pen, according to opinion polls.

Meanwhile, Macron’s re-election would be strengthened by attracting both left and right-wing voters.

“We have a common enemy: fascism. We students know it,” says Joséphine.

The two students said they would not watch Wednesday evening’s presidential debate between Le Pen and Macron, while they still decide on who, or whether, to vote on Sunday. EFE


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