Fillon's ratings have gradually recovered after his campaign hit the rocks following nepotism allegations, and on Thursday he redoubled attempts to dissuade his core voters from straying to Macron's camp. France's presidential candidates cert.
The election will begin on April 23, taking place across two rounds. The two top vote-getters on Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff.
(Christian Hartmann/Pool photo via AP).
"He has the experience, the desire and the project that will allow France to ensure an alternative to the last five disastrous years that we have experienced, (under Socialist president Francois Hollande)" Mr. Sarkozy said in a video message posted on Facebook - a rare foray into the campaign by him.
France's internal intelligence agency, which had been looking for the two suspects for more than a week, had warned main candidates in the election that there was a threat to their security, campaign officials said.
Paris: Far-right leader Marine Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the French presidential election, has said she would suspend all legal immigration to France if elected President.
Molins said Merabet had in recent days tried to send a video to the Islamic State group to claim "allegiance or responsibility" for a potential attack.
Authorities say they have made hundreds of arrests since the beginning of previous year, but Tuesday's incident was the first with a possible link to the hotly contested election campaign.
Macron, a former banker who quit as economy minister last August to set up his independent "En Marche!" or "Onwards!" movement, would beat Le Pen or any other candidate in the run-off, the Harris poll showed. In a statement afterward, Macron insisted on the importance of respecting France's secular traditions but said they shouldn't be used to target Muslims. Some Muslims feel unfairly targeted by French laws banning headscarves in schools and full-face veils in public.
Also Wednesday, the Grand Mosque of Lyon issued an appeal urging Muslims to cast ballots instead of isolating themselves, "so that all the children of France, regardless of their skin color, their origins or their religion, are fully involved in the future of their country".
The EU executive was referring to Le Pen's demand on Tuesday night that French TV station remove the blue, yellow-starred EU flag from the stage where she would be interviewed, leaving just the French blue-white-and-red flag.
Addressing almost 5,000 flag-waving supporters in the southern city of Marseille, where two Frenchmen were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of planning an attack on the election, the National Front (FN) leader said: "I have been denouncing this awful poison of Islamic terrorism since I launched my campaign ... and none of my rivals are willing to debate the subject".