|Terrorism or manipulation ?: The French Presidential Elections|
The news that a policeman had been shot dead on the famous Champs-Elysées avenue broke as the 11 presidential candidates were appearing live on TV in a show dubbed “15 minutes to convince” France.
The far-right Marine Le Pen had not long finished her 15-minute slot when it became clear that France had been hit by another jihadist attack against its forces of law and order. An attack quickly claimed by terror group Isis.
Authorities had long feared an Isis-inspired or organised attack in the run-up to the election, as it would represent not just a symbolic attack on democracy, but also a chance to perhaps influence the result to their liking, with a victory for Le Pen fitting in with their desire to divide France's communities.
Hence the reason the government extended the state of emergency to cover the campaign.
The immediate impact of Thursday night's attack saw Marine Le Pen, François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron announce they were suspending their campaigns. They all cancelled meetings on Friday, the last official day of campaigning.
Although events have been cancelled the candidates haven’t quite gone quiet.
Marine Le Pen, who has seen her campaign tail off in recent weeks launched an attack on previous governments.
Mrs. Le Pen, however, has several major supporters in Europe and the US, including President Putin and President Trump
Marine Le Penn went to Russia only recently and met with President Putin and has often also praised President Trump on his foreign and immigrant policies.
Yesterday, right after the attack in Paris, Mr. Trump went live on US TV and deplored not only the attack in Franc, but also indirectly mingled in French politics, supporting Marine Le Penn by saying that the attack will have a "big impact" on the polls in France, as they relate to the Sunday Presidential elections there.
Unfortunately, US president Donald Trump, whose own populist victory was celebrated by Marine Le Pen, used this deplorable attack in France to once again show his loyalty to fellow populist right-wing nationalist politicians in Europe - just as he had done earlier in the week, after the contested Turkish Referendum, by congratulating Turkish "strongman" Erdogan with his so-called victory.
Even though the Paris Champs-Elysées terrorist carried a note on himself showing support for ISIS, one can only hope that the French criminal investigators will scrupulously investigate this case to eliminate all possible doubts, as to the motives of this attack, so close to the French Presidential elections