Le Pen Ahead in First Round French Presidential Election
by Stephen Lendman
Five candidates are competing in April's closely contested first round:
Right-wing Union for a Popular Movement, former prime minister under president Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Fillon - the early favorite, tarnished by charges of providing highly-paid fake jobs for his wife and children;
Socialist Party (in name only) MP Benoit Hamon;
En Marche! former economy, industry and digital affairs minister Emmanuel Macron;
Left Party's European Parliament from France member Jean-Luc Melenchon; and
ultraconservative National Front president Marine Le Pen - slightly ahead of her opponents in a recent Ipsos Sopra Sterio poll, weeks before April's first round, the two leading candidates meeting in May to choose France's next president.
Socialist President Francois Hollande declined to run for reelection. He's widely reviled. His rock bottom approval rating showed he'd have no chance to win.
If elected in May, Le Pen vowed to hold a national Frexit vote and pull France out of NATO, saying it solely "serve(s) Washington's objectives."
A longtime Eurosceptic, she said "Frexit will be a part of my policy. The people must have the opportunity to vote for the liberation from slavery and blackmail imposed by technocrats in Brussels to return sovereignty to the country."
Like Trump, she's hostile to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, calling them "illegal once they set foot on European soil…They must be sent back to their homeland," she insists.
Polls show even if she tops her opponents in round one, she'll likely lose to her main opponent in May.
Widespread opposition to business as usual defines this year's election. April in Paris should be interesting this year, May more-so if Le Pen pulls off a stunning upset the way Trump triumphed in America.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.