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Meet the next president of France

By Conal Urquhart in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-04-25 23:55

After the first round of voting, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, have begun campaigning to be elected French president in earnest. There were 11 candidates in the first round but only two in the second round. One of these candidates will be voted the President of France for the next five years on May 7.

Name: Emmanuel Macron

Age: 39

Meet the next president of France

Family: He was born in Amiens to a paediatrician mother and a neurologist father. His younger brother and sister became a cardiologist and a nephrologist respectively. He is the only member of his family not to study medicine.

Partner: In 2007, Macron married Brigitte Trogneux. The couple met when Macron was 15 and Trogneux was his 39-year old teacher but they only officially became a couple when he turned 18. Trogneux was previously married with three children, the eldest of whom is two years older than Macron.

Education: Philosophy at the University of Paris, Masters in Public Affairs in the Institute of Political Studies and civil service training at the National School of Administration, where almost all senior civil servants and politicians are educated.

Professional Experience: Inspector of finances at the ministry of the economy and then an investment banker at Rothschilds

Political Experience: He was a deputy secretary general in the office of President Francois Hollande before being appointed minister of economy and finance in 2016.

Party: Macron left the Socialist Party in 2015 and set up the En Marche! party in 2016. En Marche was founded to break France’s reliance on either the Gaullist/Republican or the Socialist party. It has no elected officials.

Policies: Macron wants to reduce the size of the French state and its spending, make the economy more competitive and is strongly in favour of France’s role in the EU and NATO. He is pro-American and was the only one of the four leading candidate who did not call for a rapprochement with Vladimir Putin and Russia.

On the economy he wants to reduce government spending by 60 million euros and increase investment by 50 million euros.

Odds on victory: 88 per cent

Name: Marine Le Pen

Age: 48

Meet the next president of France

Family: Born to Jean-Marie Le Pen, a former paratrooper and politician from Brittany who formed the Front National in 1972 and Pierrette Lalanne, in Paris. She has two older sisters. The family survived a 1976 bomb attack aimed at their father.

Partner: She is in a relationship with Louis Aliot, a senior member of the Front National, who is Jewish—the party is often accused of being anti-semitic. Le Pen was previously married to two other party members and she has three children from her first marriage.

Education: She studied law at the University of Paris and also obtained a masters in criminal law.

Professional experience: Worked as a lawyer for six years, as a public defender.

Party: Le Pen took over the leadership of the Front National in 2011 with a view to running for president the next year. She is seen by some as having de-toxified and modernized the party by agreeing with gay marriage and keeping her distance from her father’s alleged anti-semitism. She has since fallen out with her father and forced him out of his position as honorary party chairman in 2015. Le Pen has been elected as a regional and municipal councillor and member of the European Parliament.

Policies: Le Pen wants to transform France’s membership of the EU or leave it and leave NATO. She will make it harder for foreign companies to compete for business in France and tax French employers who use foreign workers. She wants to reduce immigration and restrict services to the non-French. Le Pen also says she will reduce the retirement age from 62 to 60, as well as cut taxes and increase spending, while cutting national debt and increasing economic growth.

Le Pen said she admires Vladimir Putin and she visited Moscow during her presidential campaign.

Odds on victory: 12 per cent

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