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Macron under fire over France ‘civil war’ warning

PARIS (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron came under strong criticism yesterday for warning a far-right win in snap polls could spark a “civil war”, with his opponents urging him not to scare the public.

France is preparing to vote on Sunday in the country’s most polarising ballot in decades.

Macron called the parliamentary polls after the far-right National Rally scored a runaway victory in European Parliament elections earlier this month.

The election is shaping up as a showdown between the far-right RN and the left-wing New Popular Front, which is dominated by the hard-left France Unbowed.

Macron warned on Monday that the programmes of the two “extremes” could spark a “civil war”, accusing both the RN and France Unbowed of sowing tensions and dividing people.

France President Emmanuel Macron walks with Ligne 14 director Emmanuel Sologny and Saint-Denis’ mayor Mathieu Hanotin. PHOTO: AFP

Leaders of both left and right condemned his remarks.

Eric Ciotti, the leader of the conservative Republicans (LR), who sparked outrage among allies by personally agreeing an election pact with the RN, accused the French president of being irresponsible.

“This is a strategy of fear,” he said, speaking on BFMTV-RMC.

RN heavyweight Marine Le Pen said Macron’s argument was “weak” and showed “he thinks he’s lost this election”.

Head of the Socialists in the Senate Patrick Kanner said Macron’s remarks showed he was fighting for his political survival.

“We are faced with someone who no longer controls anything,” he said.