FRANCE ELECTIONS MACRON.jpg
Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a political campaign rally in the Parc des Expositions in Paris, France, 10 December 2016.
Photograph: EPA/IAN LANGSDON

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate in France's presidential election, Friday called for "zero tolerance" towards both crime and police abuses.

Macron outlined his stand on social issues in an interview with right-leaning newspaper Le Figaro, amid ongoing trouble in Paris' suburbs after a policeman allegedly sodomized a young black man during an arrest two weeks ago.

The former economy minister, who has been criticized by rivals for publishing few concrete policy proposals, said he wanted to employ 10,000 new police officers and gendarmes and build places in prisons for 15,000 inmates over the five-year presidential mandate.

But he also called for more neighbourhood policing, saying: "When you only have riot police and rapid response units in an area, that means that there is no day-to-day security."

Macron also weighed in on the issues of multiculturalism and identity, often proxies for how the French state engages with its Muslim minority.

"We must make no concessions to communitarianism," he argued. "My republic is not multicultural. But whether we like it or not, the French republic is diverse."

Macron has moved into second place in most polls since conservative candidate Francois Fillon was hit by allegations that his wife received a lucrative salary for a fake job as his parliamentary aide.

That sets him up for a likely run-off vote in May against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Macron, who was a liberalizing economy minister under the current Socialist Party President Francois Hollande, once again resisted being categorized as left-wing or right-wing.

"Those categories worked for yesterday's world. Not for the world of tomorrow," he told Le Figaro.

Related stories

Latest news

Iraq claims advance in retaking Mosul airport from Islamic State

Iraqi forces wrested back half of Mosul's airport from Islamic State Thursday, shortly after entering the facility during their ongoing campaign to drive the extremist militia from its last key stronghold in the country.

Rights group: Video shows Cambodian police beating election candidate

A video posted on YouTube shows eight Cambodian paramilitary police beating a man identified as an opposition candidate at a Phnom Penh shopping mall, a rights group said Thursday. 

Malaysia asks Interpol to issue alert for suspects in N Korean death

Malaysia on Thursday requested that Interpol issue an alert for four North Koreans suspected of involvement in last week's killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

British suspect arrested in Deutsche Telekom hacking

A 29-year-old British citizen suspected of involvement in a cyberattack that left nearly 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers without services last year has been arrested, German federal police said on Thursday.

Eight killed as bomb targets restaurant in Pakistan’s Lahore

A bomb ripped through a high-end restaurant in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday, killing eight people, officials said, marking another attack amid a surge in violence by Islamist militants that has ended months of fragile calm.

Philippine court orders arrest of top Duterte critic

Senator Leila De Lima, one of the most outspoken critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was on Thursday ordered arrested on illegal drug charges by a Philippine court.

Hrvatski Telekom reports 2016 net profit of HRK 934 mn

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) generated a net profit of HRK 934 million in 2016, which is 1% more than in 2015, the telecommunications company said on Thursday in a report on its financial results in 2016.

FDI in Croatia totals EUR 1.2 bn in Jan-Sept 2016

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Croatia totalled EUR 1.227 billion in the first nine months of 2016, which is 552 million or 82% more than in the same period in 2015, analysts at Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in a report on Thursday, citing data provided by the Croatian National Bank.

Vietnam asks YouTube to block politically sensitive videos

Vietnamese authorities have demanded that YouTube block 17 videos that thez say violate the country's laws restricting speech, state media reported Thursday.

Croatian-Czech Society marks 25th anniversary

The Croatian-Czech Society (HCD) celebrated a quarter century since its foundation in Zagreb on Wednesday evening and the occasion was marked by the launch of a book, "The Croatian-Czech Society: The First 25 Years".

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.