French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron came out against efforts to unilaterally recognise the State of Palestine. Speaking to France's Radio J, Macron, who has created his own centrist En Marche movement, broke with the government policy and said unilaterally recognising Palestine "would not serve anyone" and claimed the move would "create instability."
"The key is recognising two states in the area, with diplomatic balance work to build peace," Macron said. "If France commits to unilateral recognition of Palestine we are contributing to an imbalance and we will weaken France's ability to play a role in regional stability and in this conflict."
Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are still seen frontrunners in France's tight presidential race, but the unpredictable outcome is pushing some pollsters to calculate the most extreme run-off scenarios. In a new twist in the two-round election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a far-left veteran who for most of the campaign has been dismissed as a distant no-hoper, has surged into the top four and lies just a few percentage points behind the leaders.
Though some commentators see Mélenchon's challenge as a blip that may fade, his rise has injected further uncertainty into the outcome of the race for the Elysée, in which Macron has largely been seen as the favourite.
A poll on Tuesday for Elabe, in a survey carried out for media groups L'Express and BFMTV, had both Macron and Le Pen on 23 percent, half a point down from a similar poll last week. The poll had centre-right candidate François Fillon on 19 percent, with Mélenchon on 17 percent.
Elabe projected that Macron, a former banker and economy minister in a Socialist government, would go on to beat Le Pen comfortably in the May 7 runoff. Other polls have shown a similar picture.Thursday, April 13, 2017