With one week to go until the runoff round in the French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen – materially lagging her rival Macron according to daily polls – on Saturday chose defeated first-round candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her prime minister, in a last-minute attempt to court his voters and help her defeat her opponent.
“As President of the Republic I will name Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Prime Minister, supported by a presidential majority and united by the national interest,” she told a news conference in Paris at which the two politicians sat together.
“We will form a government of national unity that brings together people chosen for their competence and their love of France,” Le Pen told a Paris news conference, sitting side-by-side with her choice for premier.
According to Reuters, Dupont-Aignan is a nationalist whose protectionist economic policies are close to those of the National Front’s Le Pen and who, like her, is urging a reduction in the powers of EU institutions. In the first round, Dupont-Aignan received 4.7%, or roughly 1.7 million votes, and on Friday announced that he was backing Le Pen for the decisive May 7 second round.
Macron quickly denounced the alliance of Marine Le Pen with Dupont-Aignan a “trick,” to boost Le Pen’s credibility and address Dupont-Aignan’s financing issues, according to Agence France-Presse. The alliance “seems to be a party trick destined to address Marine Le Pen’s credibility issues, as she has no team around her, and Mr. Dupont-Aignan’s financing issues. It’s no more than that and it’s not serious.”…