Macron under fire over 'civil war' comments ahead of French legislative elections

French President Emmanuel Macron has come under strong criticism for warning that a far-right or hard-left win in snap polls could spark a "civil war", with his opponents urging him not to scare the public.

On Monday, President Macron told the podcast "Generation Do It Yourself" that the manifesto of the National Rally (RN) party – which election pollsters put in first place – and their solutions to deal with fears over crime and immigration were based upon "stigmatisation or division".

"I think that the solutions given by the far right are out of the question, because it is categorising people in terms of their religion or origins and that is why it leads to division and to civil war," he told the podcast.

Macron made the same criticism of the France Unbowed (LFI) extreme left-wing party, which forms part of the New Popular Front coalition.

Polarising ballot

France is preparing to vote on Sunday in the country's most polarising ballot in decades. Macron called the parliamentary polls after the far-right National Rally scored a runaway victory in European Parliament elections earlier this month.

The election is shaping up as a showdown between the far-right RN and the left-wing New Popular Front, which is dominated by the hard-left France Unbowed.

"This is a strategy of fear," he said, speaking on BFMTV.

"We are faced with someone who no longer controls anything," he said.

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