France Elections: Le Pen Steps Aside As National Front Leader

Posted May 07, 2017

Trump took Ambassador Francois Delattre aside during a meeting of UN Security Council envoys to Washington to ask about the vote that sets up a run-off next month between pro-Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

However, Ms Le Pen has said any legal processes against her are just a political interference and she has called for the investigations to wait until the election has passed.

Under France's Fifth Republic, the president is the head of state, very much like a monarch in other countries, a role described by founder Charles De Gaulle as being above party politics - something Le Pen may have had in mind in her Monday night statement.

Al Jazeera asked Parisians how they felt about Sunday's election and whether they believed a Le Pen victory is possible.

"Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front".

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the hard-left candidate who came in fourth, said that he would seek the opinion of his supporters through his website.

It said the poll would be restricted to members registered before last Sunday's first round, and would offer three options; Choice 1. blank vote, choice 2. vote Macron, and choice 3. abstain.

Support for Macron also poured in Monday from the seat of the European Union, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish and Muslim groups troubled by Le Pen's nationalist vision.

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And on Holocaust Remembrance day, European Jewish congress president Moshe Kantor said the National Front leader was "no less risky than her Holocaust-denying father who she has tried to hide" - expelled party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Melenchon said before the first round that he would not be endorsing any candidate, and has stuck to that.

Even before Le Pen's impromptu appearance, Macron's intervention in the Whirlpool factory's future, in a region where Le Pen got the most votes, was fraught with risk. "As a result the vote for the candidate of the extreme right will not be represented as an option".

"She can win and that's why I'll be voting in two weeks, if she does [win] then it's a failure for France". "France is less open minded than people believe", she said.

Elodie said she was shocked that Macron had made the second round at the expense of conservative candidate Fillon.

The National Front leader is facing pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 presidential runoff.

But Macron's party spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, scoffed at the idea of Le Pen as an agent of change.