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French Parliamentary Elections 2017

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Marine Le Pen to stand in French parliamentary elections

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party candidate for French 2017 presidential election, concedes defeat at the Chalet du Lac in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris after the second round of 2017 presidential election, France, May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who lost the presidential election, said Thursday she will run in next month's parliamentary election in which her National Front party hopes to become the leading opposition force.

The vote will determine France's new political landscape after both the traditional left and right were sidelined from the presidential race and Le Pen was roundly defeated by centrist Emmanuel Macron.

"Yes, I will be a candidate," she said on French TV channel TF1, confirming she will run in the northern town of Henin-Baumont.
She already ran for elections there in 2007 and 2012 unsuccessfully.

"I couldn't imagine not heading my troops in a battle I consider fundamental," she added.

Marine Le Pen's 33.9 percent showing against Macron weakened her standing in the party, even though she racked up an historic 10.6 million votes.

Le Pen accused the country's main political parties of "colluding" with the government and the new president.

Macron revealed his new cabinet this week, with a mix of Socialist, centrist and Republican parties.

"The subject of the euro worries French people considerably, in an almost irrational way," said Le Pen, who ran on an anti-Euro campaign in the presidential election.

"We are going to have to take this into account, discuss and reflect."

Le Pen is counting on the 10.6 million votes she received as a presidential candidate to propel her anti-immigration party into parliament in the June 11 and June 18 elections.

The party also hopes to pick up votes from "electoral orphans" unsatisfied with Macron and feeling betrayed by the mainstream right, National Front Secretary-General Nicolas Bay said this week.

The National Front plans to field candidates for each of France's 577 electoral districts, hoping to block Macron's movement from obtaining a majority of seats and to secure a strong bloc of its own to counter his new government.

Le Pen dismissed the notion that there were links between her loss and a series of events widely seen as potentially weakening the National Front.

The party recently lost a rising star who served as a unifier on its conservative southern flank. One of the National Front's two current lawmakers — Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen — announced last week that she was leaving politics, at least temporarily.