The Fort Worth Press - Marine Le Pen: far-right chief within reach of French presidency

USD -
AED 3.672996
AFN 73.220452
ALL 95.962281
AMD 405.948237
ANG 1.80202
AOA 828.514014
ARS 841.753897
AUD 1.539565
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.702706
BAM 1.808138
BBD 2.018925
BDT 109.738228
BGN 1.804644
BHD 0.376944
BIF 2856.984371
BMD 1
BND 1.346258
BOB 6.909654
BRL 4.962403
BSD 0.99994
BTN 82.904596
BWP 13.800946
BYN 3.27227
BYR 19600
BZD 2.015504
CAD 1.357335
CDF 2770.000357
CHF 0.879105
CLF 0.035499
CLP 979.540059
CNY 7.1983
COP 3923.13
CRC 514.20251
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.940065
CZK 23.382302
DJF 177.720328
DKK 6.877475
DOP 58.678057
DZD 134.80405
EGP 30.939799
ERN 15
ETB 56.731736
EUR 0.922651
FJD 2.263504
FKP 0.787953
GBP 0.789951
GEL 2.659689
GGP 0.787953
GHS 12.598978
GIP 0.787953
GMD 67.896778
GNF 8593.23358
GTQ 7.803566
GYD 209.196008
HKD 7.827705
HNL 24.691563
HRK 7.030095
HTG 132.887724
HUF 363.50031
IDR 15722.9
ILS 3.59418
IMP 0.787953
INR 82.899706
IQD 1309.832527
IRR 42042.501428
ISK 137.760066
JEP 0.787953
JMD 156.175895
JOD 0.709001
JPY 150.647499
KES 146.4992
KGS 89.43011
KHR 4070.57638
KMF 453.94994
KPW 900.01383
KRW 1336.609891
KWD 0.30768
KYD 0.833252
KZT 450.388984
LAK 20867.635843
LBP 89539.649155
LKR 310.179214
LRD 190.800263
LSL 19.079701
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.833289
MAD 10.137797
MDL 17.813114
MGA 4527.237849
MKD 56.901034
MMK 2099.818336
MNT 3396.082004
MOP 8.060165
MRU 39.929809
MUR 44.750089
MVR 15.426387
MWK 1683.145891
MXN 17.096198
MYR 4.769022
MZN 63.500496
NAD 19.079749
NGN 1630.659898
NIO 36.804371
NOK 10.584381
NPR 132.644901
NZD 1.64186
OMR 0.384951
PAB 0.99994
PEN 3.788569
PGK 3.811716
PHP 56.257996
PKR 279.090123
PLN 3.986141
PYG 7296.159162
QAR 3.640502
RON 4.583701
RSD 108.128034
RUB 92.050321
RWF 1276.088253
SAR 3.750479
SBD 8.475185
SCR 13.406471
SDG 601.000292
SEK 10.33314
SGD 1.346075
SHP 1.26825
SLE 22.725545
SLL 19750.000125
SOS 571.497745
SRD 35.329523
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.749474
SYP 13001.870728
SZL 19.2555
THB 36.018002
TJS 10.97362
TMT 3.51
TND 3.11975
TOP 2.36255
TRY 31.19988
TTD 6.788546
TWD 31.652796
TZS 2549.999812
UAH 38.150536
UGX 3939.297287
UYU 39.069398
UZS 12483.532332
VEF 3601201.313605
VES 36.02554
VND 24630
VUV 119.845532
WST 2.740874
XAF 606.432676
XAG 0.044563
XAU 0.000492
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.753376
XOF 606.438282
XPF 115.480604
YER 250.35026
ZAR 19.29805
ZMK 9001.195506
ZMW 23.222317
ZWL 321.999592
  • SLAC

    0.0050

    10.305

    +0.05%

  • BCC

    0.6800

    133.66

    +0.51%

  • SCS

    0.0100

    13.06

    +0.08%

  • CMSC

    0.0879

    24.87

    +0.35%

  • NGG

    -0.3000

    66.08

    -0.45%

  • RBGPF

    -10.8800

    63.56

    -17.12%

  • AZN

    -0.9800

    65.35

    -1.5%

  • GSK

    -0.0400

    42.34

    -0.09%

  • RIO

    -1.0200

    63.96

    -1.59%

  • BTI

    -0.3900

    29.73

    -1.31%

  • CMSD

    0.0200

    24.69

    +0.08%

  • JRI

    0.0200

    11.43

    +0.17%

  • BCE

    -0.1500

    37.15

    -0.4%

  • RYCEF

    0.1600

    4.705

    +3.4%

  • RELX

    -0.3700

    43.67

    -0.85%

  • VOD

    -0.1100

    8.67

    -1.27%

  • BP

    -0.4600

    34.96

    -1.32%

Marine Le Pen: far-right chief within reach of French presidency
Marine Le Pen: far-right chief within reach of French presidency

Marine Le Pen: far-right chief within reach of French presidency

Marine Le Pen has fought for years to make the far-right party she inherited electable, and now appears to have a real chance to challenge incumbent Emmanuel Macron for the French presidency this month.

Text size:

Short of a major upset, polling suggests she will reach the run-off on April 24 against the centrist after Sunday's first round vote.

And this time Macron is not assured of the support of the traditional united front of mainstream French voters that has seen Le Pen and her father off in previous elections.

Her strong performance is in large part thanks to her ability to soften her image in the 11 years she has led the former National Front, which she renamed the National Rally (RN) after expelling her father Jean-Marie in 2015.

Following a humiliating drubbing from Macron in a television debate before the 2017 election on Europe and economic policies, this time Le Pen has focused on cost of living issues in the face of rising inflation.

But the detail of her programme has changed little including measures like removing benefits from many immigrants, repudiating the primacy of EU law and closing the door on most asylum seekers.

The 53-year-old has also enjoyed cover from the emergence of Eric Zemmour, a bombastic TV polemicist who is still further to the right, and even more anti-Islam and anti-immigration.

"We're within the margin of error to beat Emmanuel Macron," National Rally interim president Jordan Bardella said Monday after the latest polls. "The momentum in Marine Le Pen's favour has never been this strong."

But political scientist and expert on the extreme right Jean-Yves Camus cautioned that the final points to take a candidate to 50 percent of the vote "are the hardest to win".

- Family affair -

Le Pen's life has been marked by the legacy of her openly racist father, a veteran of the long war in Algeria that ultimately led to the former French colony's independence.

French people forced to flee Algeria and their descendants -- the so-called "pieds noirs" -- remain a crucial base of support for the party in the south.

When she was young "it wasn't easy for people to go out with Marine Le Pen" based on her family name, she told celebrity magazine Closer in an interview that aimed to present a more humane image.

"I remember one man chose to break up with me, the pressure from his social circle was so heavy."

Twice divorced, she said she is now happy being single.

After training as a lawyer, she began her career defending illegal immigrants facing deportation, but later returned to the family fold and to her father's party.

Under her leadership since 2011, the party has enlarged its appeal to people in France's formerly Communist-voting northern rust belt. Her expulsion of the elder Le Pen, who once called the gas chambers of the Holocaust a "detail of history", has also helped temper its toxic image.

The tough years following the 2017 defeat saw Le Pen purge still more senior RN members judged harmful to the party's image, while her niece Marion Marechal -- a former MP and popular figure on the French far-right -- has switched her support to Zemmour.

The Le Pen name remains touchy enough that most RN campaign posters refer to the candidate simply as "Marine".

- Radical programme -

Experts have warned that the laws Marine Le Pen says she will pass would overturn historic French principles.

"This text represents nothing less than an exit from the constitutional framework France has lived in since the Revolution," constitutional law expert Dominique Rousseau told Challenges magazine.

Le Pen's plans include a so-called "national preference" for hiring French workers over foreigners, exclusion of non-citizens from some social benefits and opting out of parts of the European Convention on Human Rights.

That would mean "abandoning our (treaty) commitments and setting off a Frexit" -- a French departure from the European Union -- said Serge Slama, a law professor at the University of Grenoble.

Meanwhile a backlash over Le Pen's professed admiration for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who she met in 2017, has so far failed to materialise despite the war in Ukraine.

"For protest voters, international affairs, even if they're among everyone's worries, won't be the first point of reference for their ballot," said Anne Muxel, research director at Paris' Centre for Political Research.

Le Pen has succeeded in playing on "great disruptions in our society", Macron acknowledged on France Inter radio Monday.

"All this... creates fear. And those who play on fears are rising. I haven't managed to hem them in," he admitted.

A.Maldonado--TFWP