France elections: Le Pen steps aside as National Front leader

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The index of 30 leading stocks flirted with levels just below 12,400 points.

Live debate Macron and Le Pen will face off in a live, televised debate on Wednesday, May 3, four days before the second round of the election.

Eleven candidates have joined the race for the French presidency. But, unlike Trump, Le Pen comes from a family that has been on the French political scene for decades.

French far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen has called for more food to be produced and consumed in the country.

President Hollande said the far-right would threaten the rupture of Europe, "profoundly divide France" and "faced with such a risk, I will vote for Emmanuel Macron".

The world is watching the French elections to see if the populist, protectionist, anti-globalization trend in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) is gaining ground in other countries.

Mr Macron, a former economy minister, is widely expected to win the run-off vote on 7 May. The other seven candidates were far behind.

Le Pen said on TF1 TV on Tuesday that "there is a revolt of the people against the elite" seen in Britain's Brexit vote and in the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Marine Le Pen, National Front political party candidate for French 2017 presidential election, poses for a selfie with employees as she visits the Rungis global food market, near Paris, France, during her cam.

It appears to be a strategy to attract voters as she takes on centrist Emmanuel Macron for the job in two weeks' time.

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Whoever wins on May 7 will need to try to build a majority six weeks later in a parliament where the National Front now has only two seats and Mr Macron's year-old En Marche!

Whatever the final outcome of the French presidential election, the actual consequences for France will likely be less dramatic than many people hope or fear.

Le Pen steps down as party leader But after being at the helm of the National Front for years, Le Pen announced on French public television news that she would temporarily be stepping down as its leader.

"The voters who voted for Mr. Melenchon are angry voters".

Choosing from inside the system is no longer an option for France's electorate come May 7.

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. "He is a hysterical, radical 'Europeanist.' He is for total open borders".

"He is a hysterical, radical "Europeanist", she said.

In her victory address on Sunday night, Le Pen stated that the future of France - and of Europe - is at stake in May. Since then, she has been working on softening the party's image by targeting widespread support of the young and the workers.

Meanwhile, life expectancy for women tends to run almost five years shorter than the average 85.2 in departments where Le Pen scored high and almost three years lower than the average male expectancy of 79.1.

"I'm not convinced that the French are willing to sign a blank check to Mr. Macron", he said.

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