Marine Le Pen selects Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as potential prime minister

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said she would name first round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan prime minister if elected.

The far-right National Front candidate Le Pen aligned Dupont-Aignan, the 56-year-old Stand Up France party candidate who recieved 4.7 percent of the vote in the first round of the election, in an apparent bid to win over his voters in hopes of beating favorite Emmanuel Macron.

Dupont-Aignan, a conservative who considers himself a "Gaullist" after French Gen. Charles de Gaulle, placed sixth out of 11 candidates in the first round of the election on a platform centered around leaving the European Union and the Eurozone.

He had already expressed support for Le Pen in the second round before she selected him as her potential prime minister, saying it was time to stop treating her as untouchable.

Polls show Macron, of the centrist "En Marche!" party, is favored to win the May 5 election with about 60 percent of the vote.

During a campaign trip in France, Macron said the alliance between Le Pen and Dupont-Aignan clarified the choice between the two candidates offered to French voters.

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen addresses supporters at her party headquarters in Henin Beaumont,on 23 April, 2017. Le Pen said she would name defeated first round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister if she is elected president.Photo by Maya Vidon-White/UPI



Le Pen Says Eurosceptic Dupont-Aignan is her PM Pick

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said on Saturday she would appoint defeated first-round Eurosceptic candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister if she wins the May 7 runoff.

Right-winger Dupont-Aignan, who scored 4.7 percent of votes in the first round on April 23, announced on Friday that he was backing Le Pen, as widely expected.

“As President of the Republic I will name Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Prime Minister, supported by a presidential majority and united by the national interest,” she told a news conference in Paris at which the two politicians sat together.

“We will build a national unity government that will bring together people chosen for their skills and their love of France,” Le Pen said.

Dupont-Aignan said he had signed an agreement on the future government with Le Pen that took into account some “modifications” of her program.

Polls on Friday showed centrist Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidential runoff with 59-60 percent of votes, although Le Pen has gained some ground since the start of the week.

The candidates’ starkly differing visions on France’s future are at the heart of the election runoff — with Macron, a 39-year-old former banker embracing free trade and the EU, while Le Pen wants to seal France’s borders, quit the euro and hold a referendum on the nation’s membership in the bloc.

In the months leading up to the election, there had been a great deal of market uncertainty in the face of a possible win by Le Pen.

The national statistics office Insee said on Friday that economic growth in France slowed in the first quarter.

France’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.3 percent in the period from January to March, slower than the 0.5 percent recorded in the preceding three months, Insee said in a statement.


Marine Le Pen to appoint ex-rival Dupont-Aignan PM if elected French president

French far-right hopeful Marine Le Pen said Saturday she would appoint defeated first-round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister if she is elected president.

Right-winger Dupont-Aignan, who scored just 4.7 percent in the first round on April 23, announced on Friday that he was backing Le Pen in France’s increasingly bitter presidential run-off, but argued that she is not a far-right politician.

“As president of the Republic I will name Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Prime Minister, supported by a presidential majority and united by the national interest,” Le Pen told a press conference in Paris at which the two politicians sat side-by-side.

Dupont-Aignan said he had signed an agreement on a Le Pen government mandate that took into account some “modifications” to her programme. He said Le Pen would incorporate some of his policy proposals into her election platform.

"France before partisan politics"

"It's a historic day because we are putting France's interests before personal or partisan ones," he said.

Le Pen celebrated his backing as the creation of "a great patriotic and republican alliance”.

Polls on Friday showed centrist Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidential runoff with 59-60 percent of votes, although Le Pen has gained some ground since the start of the week.

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