Marine Le Pen, France’s Donald Trump

 In Foreign

With France’s elections around the corner, a new underdog is emerging through the polls. Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration National Front, has closed the gap on her main rivals, but still has quite a ways to go against front runner Emmanuel Macron, and conservative Francois Fillon.

First, the polls

According to Opinionway poll, Le Pen would lose to with 42% to Macron’s 58%, and by 44% to Fillon’s 56%. But, its not like we haven’t seen unfavorable polls for an unexpected winner before. Considering our very own President Donald Trump, winning the national election despite the odds against him.

With Le Pen leading an anti-illegal immigration, anti-European Union, some might go as far as to call her “France’s Donald Trump.” With the media on her rear, and her disregard for political correctness, the trend sounds all too familiar. She even calls her followers the “forgotten” French and is promising to restore jobs and prosperity for her country.

Anti-immigration stance

Her support comes from the blue-collar working class and the unemployed. What has made her most popular, is her stance to terminate France’s open-arms policy and put a stop to the immigration of refugees to France, stating that France should be for the French.

Scandals break – Sound familiar yet?

There is however,  a bit of a scandal in the works. Le Pen is accused of paying her bodyguard, Thierry Légier, more than €41,500 (£35,350) back in 2011, by claiming he was an EU parliamentary assistant. Investigators also say Le Pen paid her assistant, Catherine Grisete, nearly €298,000 from December 2010 to 2016.

The European anti-fraud office (Olaf) insists she pay back the money, but Le Pen, who denies any wrong doing, has refused. In response the money is currently being taken from her MEPs salary.

“I formally contest this unilateral and illegal decision taken by political opponents … without proof and without waiting for a judgment from the court action I have started,” Le Pen told Reuters.

According to The Guardian French police searched the headquarters of Le Pen on Monday evening as part of an official investigation into her “fake” jobs scandal. A statement released from the National Front claimed Monday’s raids were an attempt to “disturb the smooth running of the presidential campaign and to sink Marine Le Pen at the moment her campaign is making strides with voting intentions.”

 

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