Who will win the 2022 French election?
Paris, Apr 22: The stakes are high for the 2022 French presidential elections between Emmanuel Macron, the incumbent and Marine Le Pen.
Macron, the centrist incumbent, has campaigned on a message of unity. On Friday, he laid into the nationalist rival he is set to face in a Sunday runoff, accusing far-right leader Marine Le Pen of trying to divide France over Islam.
What are the issues?
Healthcare management during covid, France's response to Ukraine and the economy will be the main issues during the presidential elections. Tackling a surge in energy and food prices has been at the core of the campaigns.
Macron has promised to raise the minimum level of pensions, increase hiring in the health sector, and to prioritize gender equality and school harassment.
He has also promised more tax cuts for companies, thousands more police officers and judges, and to raise the retirement age to reduce the pension system's massive debt.
Le Pen, 53, has promised to hold a referendum on strict immigration controls, stipulating that residency applications can be made only outside France. She would prioritize French nationals for housing and other social services ahead of foreigners.
She has also promised 25,000 new prison places and extra police. Since the first round, she appears to have softened her divisive stance on banning the Muslim headscarf in public spaces.
Her other promises include a substantial cut in taxes on petrol and electricity, and rises in pension payouts.
In the 2017, run-off, Macron won 66 per cent while Marine Le Pen 34 per cent.
France must choose between a moderate reformer, who has a decent record for a first term but has an image as an out-of-touch elite and a politician with zero knowledge in government who wants to take France on a wild ride into nationalist isolationism, the consequences of which are unpredictable.
If Macron wins, it will the first time a French president has been reelected since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
with DW inputs