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Marine Le Pen officially launches bid for French presidency

Stephen Feller
Marine Le Pen, leader of France's far-right party Front National officially launched her campaign for president on Sunday, with supporters saying doubts about her ability to win the race are similar to those who thought U.S. President Donald Trump wouldn't be elected and Britain's exit from the European Union would not happen. The 2017 French presidential election will be held on April 23, 2017, and the run-off will be held May 7, 2017. Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA

Drawing similarities between the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and the odds stacked against her own campaign, supporters of France's far-right National Front candidate for president, Marine Le Pen, say she has a very real chance to win.
Le Pen officially launched her campaign for president on Sunday, about four months before the first run-off election, which she is expected to win -- before losing the run-off on May 7 to a less extreme candidate.
Le Pen has been supportive of Britain's exit from the European Union and of Trump, and her populist, anti-immigrant, France first message has found resonance among some citizens in the country unhappy with the economy and worried about terrorism.
Her speech on Sunday included an explanation of the 144 "commitments" to help people who feel they have left out of the globalized economy, those worried about immigration and others concerned about the French identity and culture. She has also discussed leaving the European Union, much like Britain.
Former economy minister Emmanuel Macron, running as an independent, has a more mainstream appeal and is expected to beat Le Pen. Macron's message is one of cautiously continuing to be an open country participating with the rest of Europe.
Le Pen, who was given a 40 percent chance to win the election by some analysts, and her supporters discussed Sunday that they feel emboldened by the elections in the United States and Britain that she can win out the run-off in May.
"The impossible has suddenly become possible," Le Pen said of the populist candidates winning elections around the world. "Other countries have shown us the way. The awakening of those nations is historic and marks the end of an era. The winds of history have changed."
Marine Le Pen officially launches bid for French presidency Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 1:32 AM Rating: 5

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