Le Pen steps down as head of France’s far-right party

Apr 25, 2017, 8:03 AM EDT
Marine Le Pen, Leader of the French National Front
(Source: Global Panorama/flickr)

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen announced on Monday that she is stepping down as the leader of her National Front (FN) party, a move that many described as an attempt to distance herself from the racist image of the party.

In her statement, Le Pen said she intends to rise above partisan politics and unite all French people with her candidacy, writes the BBC. The ‘symbolic act’ reflects Le Pen’s intentions to reach out to a wider voter base, particularly those electorates who rejected the Republican François Fillon in the first round.

In a separate development, outgoing French president Francois Hollande lashed out at Le Pen’s divisive policies as he urged the voters to back centrist Emmanuel Macron in the head-to-head run-off to be held on May 7, notes Reuters.