PARIS – The Latest on the French presidential election campaign (all times local):
Independent French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron wants an international "roadmap" to better fight Islamic extremism from the Mideast to Africa.
In releasing his presidential platform Thursday, Macron also called for increased military spending to 2 percent of GDP — as U.S. and other NATO allies have long demanded.
He would hire 10,000 more police and create 15,000 more places in prison and boost efforts to improve relations between police and minority youths in poor suburbs.
Macron's critics on the right have called him too soft on security. Polls suggest he could face far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who has made fighting Islamic extremism central to her campaign, in the May 7 presidential runoff.
With just 52 days left before French voters choose their president, the man leading polls is only now releasing his campaign platform.
Until now, Emmanuel Macron has risen to popularity largely based on what he is not - he's neither left nor right, he has no party, and he's the only top contender not facing corruption investigations.
Macron lays out his platform Thursday on an upswing, as pressure mounts on conservative rival Francois Fillon, facing charges that he arranged taxpayer-funded jobs for his family that they never performed.
Denying wrongdoing, Fillon vowed Wednesday to pursue his candidacy even if he's charged, but is now struggling to keep his party from falling apart.
Polls suggest Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen will be the top two vote-getters in the April 23 first round and advance to the May 7.