OUTCOME of the first round of French presidential elections has affirmed that change in status quo will happen at the party and leadership levels regardless of the result of the second round on May 7. Candidates who will vie in the second round are far-rightist Marine Le Pen and moderate Emmanuel Macron.
The variation is exemplified in the elimination of two major parties — Republican and Socialist — from the race for the first time in French history. Republican Party candidate Francois Fillon lost woefully even as he hoped to give Le Pen and Macron a good fight. Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon could not muster beyond eight percent of the votes.
Majority of analysts anticipated that Le Pen will come out with landslide victory during the first round, considering reactions to the bloody attack of a policeman at Champs-Elysees in Paris. However, several voters were able to control their minds beyond extremism logic, so Le Pen closely trailed Macron (21.7 percent against 23.7 percent). What happened was French voters later decided that logic of the mind should override logic of propagandas and paroxysm against membership of the European Union and those who were consistently campaigning against immigrants from the Arab World. This is the reason why Le Pen could not achieve landslide victory during the first round.
Meanwhile, as Le Pen failed woefully in exploiting exaggerated terror and security obsession, her opponent Macron benefitted from conviction on the need to be open towards Europe (and Muslims). He also gained from the bogus jobs scandal which dashed the presidential hope of Francois Fillon and as such, his supporters waned (he was accused of employing his relatives unlawfully). Macron stands as the symbol of rising fortune for the centrist party En Marche by benefitting from low performance of Socialists and De Gaullists. Far-left party candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon also failed despite his determination towards rocket ascension.
The most significant reasons behind the poor performance of the two mainstream parties include the weak economy, higher number of jobless people or those who were affected by tax payment and others. This is in addition to corruption which remains a major point of discussion and resentment.
By Fowzia Abul