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22 Feb, 2022 12:55

Le Pen suspends presidential bid

The right-wing candidate is struggling to obtain sponsorship from local leaders
Le Pen suspends presidential bid

National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen has suspended her campaign for the French presidency as she is struggling to obtain enough support from local leaders, her spokesman said on Tuesday. Le Pen’s press conference on Wednesday concerning education has been cancelled, as has her trip to the Somme at the weekend.

She told RTL on Tuesday morning that she lacked “just over 40” signatures of support from local elected officials.

Presidential candidates require the sponsorship of 500 local officials, such as mayors, in order to run for the top office.

Le Pen has seen her support from local official dwindle amid competition from other right-wing candidates. The influential mayor of Beziers, Robert Menard, had given his support to Le Pen despite flirtations with ultra-right polemicist-cum-politician Eric Zemmour.  

The National Rally candidate has sought to sanitize her party’s image in recent years despite making it to the presidential run-off in 2017, losing to the country’s current leader, Emmanuel Macron.

She changed the party’s name and moved her politics towards the center, ridding it of the jackbooted imagery that clung to her Holocaust-denying father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.