Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, says that if she wins the presidential elections, the world will become a safer place, as France will cooperate with both US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Le Pen, who saw in a largely unpredicted triumph of Donald Trump an encouraging sign in the run-up to the French presidential elections, said Wednesday that anti-establishment sentiment has been gaining ground all over the world. She believes it also enabled Brexit and may propel her to the presidential office in France come May.
“The forces at work in these various elections are ideas, forces which could bring about my election as the president of France next May,” Le Pen said at the opening of her presidential campaign headquarters in Paris on Wednesday, speaking of a “worldwide movement” which stands up to “unchecked globalization, destructive ultra-liberalism, the elimination of nation states, the disappearance of borders.”
“I’m convinced the French people will follow in British and American footsteps,” she told ITV News.
Outlining the first steps she would take as the president, Le Pen said she would stage a referendum on France’s membership in the EU, paving the way for repeat of the British scenario, as well as reintroduce border checks.
Reflecting on what impact her victory could have on a global scale, Le Pen said that a possible alliance between Russia, US and France “would be good for world peace.”
Le Pen, who was among the first politicians and only a few in the West to congratulate Trump with victory, praising “the free American people” for their choice, said she would also strive to improve strained relations with Russia.
“If I am president, France would have good relations with Russia,” Le Pen assured while casting doubt on the virtues of NATO. The block’s military expansion and build-up in Eastern Europe has been one of the major concerns for Russia.
“What’s the point of NATO? From what threats does it protect us? That’s the real question,” she told ITV.
The chances of Le Pen becoming a president looking dim at the moment, as according to the latest BVA polls she is expected to pass the first round in April only to be defeated in the run-off by a center-right Republican party candidate. The poll by BVA names former Prime Minister and Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe and former President Nicolas Sarkozy the most likely candidates for the spot, with the former gaining 37 percent and the latter 29 percent respectively.
Juppe is projected to win by landslide in the second round with 30 percent advantage over Le Pen, according to the poll, conducted between October 14 and October 19. Sarkozy, if chosen by the party, will have sufficiently lesser margin of 12 percent over Le Pen.
However, after Trump’s victory, which was not predicted in the opinion polls, any such forecasts should be treated with extreme caution, Le Pen said in a BBC interview on Monday, adding that Trump “made possible what had previously been presented as impossible.”