Le Pen vows ‘France first’ at poll campaign launch
February 7, 2017
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen vowed Sunday she would be a president who puts France first as she formally launched a campaign echoing many of the themes that propelled Donald Trump to the White House.
With polls showing her now leading the first round of the election race, the head of the National Front (FN) attacked “mass immigration,” globalization and “Islamic fundamentalism” and said she wanted a country “which owes nothing to anyone.”
In a speech in the central city of Lyon less than three months before voting begins, Le Pen praised Britain for choosing to leave the European Union and urged the French to emulate Trump voters “who put their own national interests first.”
She compared globalization to slavery, saying it meant “manufacturing with slaves to sell to the unemployed.”
The FN “will be all about the local, not the global,” the 48-year-old said to cheers from a crowd of around 3,000 people.
“The impossible is becoming possible,” she said, “just as it’s possible for presidents like Donald Trump to not only be elected in the face of a system ranged against them, but also that they keep their promises.”
Opinion polls have shown for months that Le Pen will win enough votes in the first round on April 23 to reach the runoff, but they currently show she will be defeated in the second round on May 7.
With former investment banker Emmanuel Macron appearing increasingly likely to be her ultimate opponent, Le Pen told supporters that “faced with the cash-rich right-wing and the cash-rich left-wing, only I am the candidate of the people.”
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