Meet Marine Le Pen, the far-right populist who could win France’s presidential election

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen is France’s most controversial politician.

Over the past five years, she has taken far-right National Front party — which was founded by her father — from a marginalised voice to one of the most important forces in French politics.

Le Pen officially launched her election campaign on February 5, and the latest polls put her closely behind center-right candidate Emmanuel Macron.

The first round of voting takes place this Sunday. If no candidate obtains a majority, the top two candidates move to a runoff.

Polls then project she will lose the second round, which will ultimately decide who becomes president, to either centrist Emmanuel Macron or conservative François Fillon — but the gap between the candidates is diminishing quickly.

Though she has been in politics for the better part of two decades, and members of her family are in politics too, not much is known about Le Pen’s private life, which she guards ferociously. This is a look at what we do know about Marine Le Pen, the controversial, charismatic far-right politician who might become the first woman to lead France.

Le Pen was born on August 5, 1968, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a commune just outside Paris. She is the youngest of three daughters by Jean-Marie Le Pen and his first wife, Pierrette.

They grew up between Paris and the palatial manor of Montretout in Saint-Cloud — a fact that journalists and politicians often point out when Le Pen says she is “the candidate of the people.”

Jean-Marie Le Pen was an unpopular figure, which meant Marine’s childhood was far from the ordinary. At some point she was even pulled out of school for over a month and hidden with family friends in the south of France because of a surge in death threats against her father.

The most notable of those incidents was the bombing …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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