Suspect in foiled French election attack also sought by Belgium


French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, leader of the extreme right wing and eurosceptic National Front, made her appearance on TF1's "Demain Président" on Tuesday conditional upon removal of the European flag from the television studio.

Melenchon, a firebrand left-winger who has surged in recent weeks, was on 19 percent, while Fillon, whose campaign has been hurt by a financial scandal, received 19.5 percent of support. A Frexit would be different because it would mean moving away from the euro to a new currency, most probably back to the French franc.

There are 11 candidates, including five main candidates, to replace the current president, Francois Hollande. A win for Macron with Fillon in second place would restore faith in centrist politics, which has been eroded ever since last year's Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and Trump's triumph in the US Presidential election.

Macron would win a head-to-head contest against National Front chief Le Pen, the poll showed.

A fresh poll by the Cevipof research center revealed Wednesday that Le Pen is expected to lose the second round of the presidential election in France to all her key rivals.

Candidates on the right have been especially vocal, seeking to appeal to voters traumatized by Islamic State group-inspired attacks that have killed at least 235 people in France since January 2015, by far the largest casualty rate of any Western country.

Macron met with the head of leading French Muslim group CFCM, Anouar Kbibech.

Mr Hamon is polling in a distant fifth place ahead of Sunday's first-round election and has little chance of reaching the decisive May 7 run-off - a failure that could crush his party.

Security, which Le Pen links closely to immigration, was threatening to once again become a campaign issue on Tuesday after two men were arrested in Marseille, in southern France, on suspicion of planning an attack during the voting.

In a statement, Macron insisted on the importance of respecting France's secular traditions but said they shouldn't be used to target Muslims.

However, she thinks the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day shouldn't be included in the official calendar of France, since such days must relate only to the French collective memory.

She said on Wednesday that "I am a candidate in the election for the French republic" and that Europe is acting like France's "enemy".