dglobalnews.com Plagiarism or a 'wink'? Le Pen's copied speech targets right
Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Orlando Mckenzie

Plagiarism or a 'wink'? Le Pen's copied speech targets right

Ms Le Pen, 48, has capitalised on anti-EU feeling, and has promised a referendum on France's membership. "I want a free people".

Le Pen, who takes a tough stance on Islam, immigration and French identity, could be well placed to mop up such votes in the second round, where the victor must secure majority backing.

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says the verbatim parts of a former rival's speech that she used in one of her own campaign addresses was a "wink" and that she "totally owns" it.

The subject is at the heart of her campaign.

At a rally Monday in Paris, Le Pen went off on an ode to France's geography, and how it links the country to cultures from around the world from "the huge Hispanic and Latin world" to "Italy our sister", and then boasted about how people from Mexico to Shanghai seek to learn French. She expelled him from the party in 2015 after he reiterated anti-Semitic comments.

Two unions, the CFDT and Unsa, have called for their members to back Macron. "Go and convince (others), make her lose next Sunday", he told the crowd.

"Since December French people thought they had gotten rid of Francois Hollande, that President so hated by the French people, that president who failed France, that president who never presided for the people".

She has sought to modernise the National Front (FN) in recent years and at her rally in Paris, she called herself the candidate of change, belief and action.

Independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron looks at some of the 2,500 photographs of young Jews deported from France, during a visit to the Shoah memorial in Paris, France, Sunday, April 30, 2017.

Polls suggest that as many as a third of Fillon's voters will choose Le Pen in the second round - but Fillon himself, immediately after being eliminated in the first-round vote April 23, urged voters to keep the long-pariah National Front out of power and vote instead for Macron.

Macron and Le Pen, who will face each other in the runoff on May 7, are increasingly on the attack. He told supporters that "Emmanuel Macron is doing a tour of graveyards".

Cheers of "Marine President!" and anti-immigrant chants rose to the rafters.

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However aides of Ms Le Pen attempted to brush off the criticism.

With just days left to convince French voters of their credentials, the candidates vying to become president kicked off the final week of the campaign with attacks on each other created to woo over wavering or undecided voters.

Ms Le Pen stood aside as leader of the Front National in a bid to woo a broader spectrum of potential voters.

"She is not Joan of Arc, but she accepts the same mission".

He denounced Macron as a "masked Socialist" backed by the highly unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande.

Bourram, who supports Macron, says his father was targeted "because he was a foreigner, an Arab". The death drew national outrage.

French media including Le Monde today accused Ms Le Pen of plagiarism, highlighting the similar florid language used by both candidates.

The rallies come as unions stage a series of marches across the French capital for workers' rights.

-This item has been corrected to show that Macron joined Bourram's son, not his father. Demonstrators in France used International Labor Day to send a message.

As the campaign enters the final few days the latest polls put Macron ahead by 61 percent to Le Pen's 39 percent.

Meanwhile, the traditional May 1 union marches across France celebrating workers' rights will be politically charged this year.

Bit by bit, opposition is rising to Le Pen, from politicians, students, anti-racism groups and cultural representatives.

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