Far-right hopeful says French election ‘choice of civilization’

Far-right Marine Le Pen leads presidential polls in France.
Michel Euler/Associated Press
Far-right Marine Le Pen leads presidential polls in France.

LYON, France — French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen blasted globalization and Islamic fundamentalism in her closing speech Sunday of a two-day National Front party conference, calling them ‘‘two totalitarianisms’’ threatening France.

To applause and cries of ‘‘On est chez nous’’ (We are in our land), Le Pen served up the grand themes of the party that have made her a leader in early polls of the spring presidential election.

‘‘We are at a crossroad. . . . This election is a choice of civilization,’’ she said, asking whether her three children and other young citizens would have the rights and culture of the current generation. ‘‘Will they even speak our French language?’’


On Saturday, the party published Le Pen’s 144 ‘‘commitments,’’ a nationalist agenda that envisions a France unshackled from the European Union and NATO and that ensures work, health care, and other services for its own citizens amid drastically reduced immigration.

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The right’s leading candidate, Francois Fillon, has been caught up in a corruption scandal, opening the way for maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen has been a leader in early polls, which place her at the top in the April 23 first-round vote but not winning the May 7 runoff.

If elected, she envisions a ‘‘government of national unity’’ formed after June legislative elections.