Europe

Far-left presidential candidate Melenchon holds Paris rally

  • Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. Poster at left reads: End the presidential monarchy. Others read: Green rule. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

    Thousand of poeple gather on Republique square in Paris, Saturday, March 18, 2017 as supporters of hard-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon march through the French capital. The first French presidential ballot will take place on April 23 and the two top candidates go into a runoff on May 7. Poster at left reads: End the presidential monarchy. Others read: Green rule. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

Far-left French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is gathering tens of thousands of supporters in Paris at a rally calling for deep reforms in the French constitution.

Melenchon, who wants to shorten France's 35-hour workweek, leave NATO, block free-trade deals and stop using nuclear energy, has pledged to summon a constituent assembly if he wins the election.

The 65-year-old, a former Socialist who served as minister under several French governments, often depicts himself as the candidate of the people. He promises to get rid of what he calls the "presidential monarchy" and give more power to parliament.

Melenchon has so far struggled to make his campaign take off. Opinion polls suggest he has no chance of making it to the second round of France's presidential ballot on May 7.