Marine Le Pen gears up for president run

March 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM
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PARIS, March 17 (UPI) -- Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right Front National, attacked French President Nicolas Sarkozy in an interview released Wednesday.

Recent polls suggest Le Pen would run either first or second in the first round of the 2012 presidential election. That would put her into a runoff, most likely against Sarkozy or the Socialist candidate.

But Louis Harris Interactive, which conducted one of those polls for Le Parisien, said a detailed survey of those who say they would vote for Le Pen in the first round shows many would do so to send a message to politicians. A significant minority, 41 percent, said they would not want her to become president.

In an interview with France24, Le Pen blamed Sarkozy for the current state of France.

"France is collapsing because of a French president who is no longer running anything, who is governing on impulse or emotion, depending on the circumstances," she said. "And France's interests and image have suffered for it."

Sarkozy last week recognized the Libyan rebels. Le Pen suggested the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East is a "regional problem."

Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, got into the second round of the 2002 election. Jacques Chirac won the runoff with 82 percent of the vote, the biggest margin in French history.

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