Terror brings French campaign to premature end

A woman places a flower to pay tribute to the French policeman slain Thursday evening on the Champs Elysees. (EPA Photo)

PARIS: The murder of a policeman on the Champs-Elysees has forced an early end to campaigning for the leading candidates in France’s presidential election as they head into Sunday’s first-round of voting with the race wide open.

Republican Francois Fillon, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and Socialist Benoit Hamon all cancelled events planned for Friday and instead made televised statements about how they would fight terrorism.

Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon said he would not cede to “panic” and would continue with his plans for the day. No campaigning is allowed on Saturday -- a French tradition of a quiet election eve.

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