French PM blasts Fillon's 'civil war' comment

Conservative presidential candidate says France is marred by 'quasi-civil war' atmosphere during campaign

French PM blasts Fillon's 'civil war' comment

World Bulletin / News Desk

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has criticized on Monday the comments of conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon who accused the government of allowing "a climate of quasi-civil war" ahead of the election.

Cazeneuve said Fillon’s accusation was "simply not responsible".

"We must be careful with the terms we use," Cazeneuve said. "To use the term of quasi-civil war when one is an eminent political leader and knows what is the level of mobilization of security forces in our country, it's just not responsible."

"We do not accept any violence against any candidate," he added.

The Republicans' presidential candidate accused on Sunday the French government of not doing enough to reduce the violence that he claims has recently marred election campaign events.

Citing an event of rival centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron in the southeastern city of Toulon that was disrupted by protesters last week, and a National Front campaign rally in the Atlantic port city of Nantes that was marred by violence over the weekend, Fillon said in a statement on Sunday that France was witnessing a "quasi-civil war" situation ahead of the presidential election.

According to police, at least 13 gendarmes were injured in the clashes in Nantes on Saturday when left-wing activists staged a protest against the National Front campaign rally.

"I remind you that we are in a state of emergency and yet the government is letting this happen," Fillon said. "It is necessary that the government ensures conditions for a smooth running of elections and that it enforces the rule of law."

The first round of the presidential election is set for April 23 and the runoff on May 7.

Two polls published on Sunday showed Macron wining the support of 25 percent of the French voters into the first round of the presidential election, two points behind far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Fillon was at 20 percent according to the Kantar Sofres poll and 19 percent in an Oxoda Dentsu survey.

Both surveys show Le Pen would be beaten in the second round against either candidate.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Şubat 2017, 16:53