Marine Le Pen stepping down as leader of National Front

Marine Le Pen has announced she is temporarily stepping down from leading her party.
Marine Le Pen has announced she is temporarily stepping down from leading her party.
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French far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen has announced that she is temporarily stepping down as head of her National Front party.

The move appears to be a way for Le Pen to embrace a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 run-off between herself and Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist who came in first in Sunday’s first round.

READ MORE: Macron to face Le Pen in run-off
“Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate,” she said on French public television news.

Le Pen has said in the past that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party’s, but her own.

Le Pen has worked to bring in voters from the left and right for several years, cleaning up her party’s racist, anti-Semitic image to do so.