Marine Le Pen steps down as the head of her National Front Party
Marine Le Pen who is one of the French presidential candidate has announced
that she is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party.
Monday’s move appears to be a way for Le Pen to embrace a wide range of
potential voters ahead of the May 7 runoff between herself and Emmanuel
Macron, the independent centrist who came in first in Sunday’s first round.
Marine Le Pen said on French public television news. “Tonight, I am no
longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate”.
Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and
made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the
measures she was espousing were not her party’s, but her own.
Le Pen has worked to bring in voters from the left and right for several
years, cleaning up her party’s racist, anti-Semitic image to do so.
Final results from the French presidential election’s first round show that
centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron got nearly 1 million more votes than
far-right leader Marine Le Pen, with both advancing to the May 7 runoff.
Macron collected 8.66 million votes, or 24.01 percent, while Le Pen garnered
7.68 million votes, or 21.30 percent, according to the official final count
published by the Interior Ministry.
For Le Pen, it is the best result ever achieved by her nationalist anti-EU and
anti-immigration party the National Front in a French presidential election.
Conservative candidate Francois Fillon got 20.01 percent, and left-wing
candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, 19.58 percent of the vote. The other seven
candidates were far behind.
Turnout was 77.77 percent, the lowest in a French presidential election for 15