LYON (France), Nov 30 : Marine Le Pen won 100 percent backing to stay on as the unchallenged chief of France's far-right National Front (NF) party in party congress vote results given on Sunday.
The ballot confirmed Le Pen's firm grip on the party, founded by her father and predecessor Jean-Marie Le Pen, and comforted a bid she is widely expected to make for France's presidency in 2017 elections. The party election came a day after France's main opposition party, the conservative UMP, elected former president Nicolas Sarkozy as its leader.
Given the record unpopularity of
current French President Francois Hollande, many analysts believe the 2017 presidential elections could see Marine Le Pen and Sarkozy facing off in a knockout round.
Since taking the reins of the National Front in 2011, Le Pen has proved herself a wily political operator who softened the xenophobic extremist image the party had held under her father and broadened its appeal. This year, the party made gains in local and European elections. ?AFP