Mass rally against far right held in Paris ahead of Sunday's runoff election

Thousands of protesters have rallied in Paris to urge voters to block far-right forces from winning the second round of a snap parliamentary election.

The far-right National Rally party and its allies came out on top in last Sunday's first round of the National Assembly election, taking more than 30 percent of the vote.

Runoff voting is set to take place on Sunday in electoral districts where there were no winners in the first round.

Trade unions, human rights groups and other organizers held the event in a square in the French capital on Wednesday. The participants included actors, scholars and musicians.

A Nobel laureate in literature, Annie Ernaux, said in a video message, "There are times in a nation's history when its citizens make choices that are difficult to reverse," adding that "It's next Sunday."

The left-wing coalition New Popular Front came second in the first round, and the ruling coalition led by President Emmanuel Macron was in third place.

Some candidates have stood down ahead of the runoff on Sunday to effectively unite against the far-right forces. But some members of the ruling coalition are negative about such cooperation.

One participant in his 20s said although there are disagreements, they are all republican parties. He added that everyone needs to unite against the National Rally now that it has made significant gains.