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Marine Le Pen steps aside as party leader

Le Pen - Marine Le Pen has announced that she is stepping aside as leader of her National Front party. Ms Le Pen told French television she needed to be above partisan considerations. Opinion polls suggest Mr Macron is firm favourite for the second round but Ms Le Pen said: "We can win, we will win." The Front National leader suggested that the move to step aside would be temporary. She told France 2 that France was approaching a "decisive moment". The National Front Presidential candidate who came first in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region with 28% of votes will be in Nice on Thursday.

French Elections - President François Hollande has called on French voters to reject far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and back Emmanuel Macron to succeed him.The pair will face each other in a run-off vote on 7 May after taking the top places in Sunday's first round, with Mr Macron the current favourite to win. Meanwhile Macron came under critisicism as he celebrated his victory in the first round of the Presidential elections in the brasserie "bobo" La Rotonde in the district of Montparnasse in Paris. Several political opponents were quick to compare it to the bling bling dinner at Fouquet's on the Champs Elysee which tainted the election of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. Numerous French personalities of the cultural, artistic and television world came to toast with Emmanuel Macron on Sunday night at the brewery "La Rotonde" which used to welcome regulars such as Picasso, Chagall, Apollinaire and Jean Cocteau.

Date 24/04/17 

French Presidential Elections - Centrist Emmanuel Macron has come first in the first round of the French Presidential election with nearly 24% of votes, Marine Le Pen came second with 21,4%. The two fought off both centre-right Francois Fillon and hard-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon. It’s the first time in French history that neither of the two main political parties are through to the second round with socialist leader Benoit Hammon scoring 6.3% of votes. Both Macron and Le Pen will be in a run-off for the French presidency on May 7th. In the Alpes Maritimes Marine Le Pen came out in the lead with 27,74% of votes followed by 27,39% for Francois Fillon and in third place came Emmanuel Macron with 19,04% . Meanwhile according to reports on France Info this morning some several hundred "anti-fascists" gathered at the Bastille in Paris on Sunday evening after the results of the first round of the presidential election were announced. Reports of clashes with the police led to three arrests and two protesters were injured. 

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