Le Pen steps down as FN president to gather "all the French"

French President Francois Hollande today urged voters to reject far-right leader Marine Le Pen in next month's presidential runoff against pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Indeed, French voters face a stark choice. She's been called the Trump of France (some say she's even more risky than that)-a nationalist leader who thinks France should be less involved in the European Union and recently said, "Islamism is a monstrous totalitarian ideology that has declared war on our nation, on reason, on civilization".

But after the political shocks of Britain's vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's unlikely ascent to the White House, analysts say a late surge by Le Pen is still possible. She came in a close second to Macron, at 21.5 percent.

Why are bulls confident in a Macron victory?

Several French student unions and anti-far-right movements such as SOS RACISM are calling to block the far-right candidate in the second round, and are staging demonstrations across France on Monday evening, in a bid to convince people to vote against Le Pen. Macro is now the heavy favorite in the head-to-head matchup.

Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist candidate who is her rival in the upcoming vote, sparred in successive television appearances, tossing insults as each launched a political offensive to win new voters before the balloting in less than two weeks.

Fillon, who was charged in March with abuse of public funds, only just scraped ahead of radical left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.58 percent.

Since Marine Le Pen announced she was "no longer the president of the National Front".

"I'm becoming little concerned over the President's big announcements, especially since we haven't seen any major legislative achievement so far and he will be marking his 100th day in the White House this Saturday", said FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed in a note. In other words, there's no sure thing. On Monday, Le Pen described the mainstream parties as "old and completely rotten". The potential for events and campaign-trail gaffes to alter the outlook should be kept in mind.

Earlier, Le Pen, who is campaigning on an anti-globalization platform, sought to upstage Macron with a surprise visit to the same factory.

A defeat for the status quo?

Jugele's civil partner will also speak, and both presidential candidates have said they will be present.

French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, center, enters his auto after a ceremony marking 102nd anniversary of the slaying of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in a brief ceremony, April 24, 2017 in Paris. And although he has not held elected office, Macron's previous political experience in the incumbent administration, coupled with his career as an investment banker, suggest that even as a relative outsider he's not naive about France's challenges.


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