Jean-Luc Melenchon, the far-left leader, rallied tens to thousands of supporters in Paris Sunday for his largest campaign event yet. He posed himself as the anti-Emmanuel Macron candidate three weeks before France’s presidential elections.
Melenchon, who polled in third or fourth in the presidential vote — known for his crowd-attracting rhetoric and “Melen-show”, was aiming to unify left-leaning supporters following the recent failures of the French Socialists.
“We will win!” Melenchon! “President!” shouted supporters before a 45-minute speech in which the leftist rebel highlighted differences with Macron, the incumbent president whom polls consider the favourite to win the election. The 70-year old criticized Macron’s plans for school teaching methods and supported lowering retirement age to 60.
Macron claimed that it would be the “end of the republican school and the end of one and indivisible French people”. Vote for me, and you will retire at 60!
Melenchon campaign officials claimed that 100,000 people attended the rally in central Paris.
France’s first round in the presidential election will take place on April 10. If no candidate wins, there will be a runoff on April 24.
2017 saw the failure of charismatic Melenchon to make it to the presidential runoff. Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, a far-right opponent.