French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned of a potential “civil war” in his country if the far-right National Front wins in the upcoming regional elections and sets the pace for the 2017 presidential polls.
“We have reached a historic moment where the bottom line for our country is a choice between two options. One is the extreme right, which basically stands for division, a division that can lead to civil war,” said France’s Socialist premier on Friday.
Valls, who is carrying out a major campaign to prevent National Front leader Marine Le Pen from emerging victorious in the elections this weekend, has even gone as far as calling on left-leaning voters to back mainstream right-wing candidates so that Le Pen and her affiliates could not win the polls.
The other option, he said during a radio interview, was to vote for “republican values,” which reportedly refers to a country that remains open to people of diverse cultures as long as they accept the rules of the secular state.
According to local reports, the National Front, which is an anti-immigrant and anti-EU political party aiming to drop the euro currency, secured 27.7 percent of the vote – the largest – in the first round of the elections last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Le Pen rejected Valls’ civil war claim as a “delirious outburst.”
With only two days left to the final round of the elections, latest opinion polls point to a very tight race. Polls released on Wednesday and Thursday suggest that Valls’ electoral campaign against the National Front might however work, with the Socialist government’s conservative adversaries pulling ahead in the runoff round.