Le Pen Names Nationalist As Prime Minister In Last Minute Bid To Boost Votes

Saturday, April 29, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Apr 29, 2017

With one week to go until the runoff round in the French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen – materially lagging her rival Macron according to daily polls – on Saturday chose defeated first-round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister, in a last-minute attempt to court his voters and help her defeat her opponent.

“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 form a government of national unity that brings together people chosen for their competence and their love of France,” Le Pen told a Paris news conference, sitting side-by-side with her choice for premier.

According to Reuters, Dupont-Aignan is a nationalist whose protectionist economic policies are close to those of the National Front’s Le Pen and who, like her, is urging a reduction in the powers of EU institutions. In the first round, Dupont-Aignan received 4.7%, or roughly 1.7 million votes, and on Friday announced that he was backing Le Pen for the decisive May 7 second round.

Macron quickly denounced the alliance of Marine Le Pen with Dupont-Aignan a “trick,” to boost Le Pen’s credibility and address Dupont-Aignan’s financing issues, according to Agence France-Presse. The alliance “seems to be a party trick destined to address Marine Le Pen’s credibility issues, as she has no team around her, and Mr. Dupont-Aignan’s financing issues. It’s no more than that and it’s not serious.”

The latest polls on Friday showed Macron winning the French presidential runoff with 59-60 percent of votes, but the momentum has been with Le Pen, who has clawed back about five percentage points over the past week.

Macron and Le Pen between them accounted for only 45 percent of the first round vote, and the battle is now on for the remainder.

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