French far-right leader hopes for Trump-like win in 2017 elec­tion

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Don­ald Trump’s US elec­tion was a vic­tory of the peo­ple against the elite, France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen said yes­ter­day, ad­ding she hoped the French would fol­low suit next year and make her pres­i­dent.

Opin­ion polls show Na­tional Front leader Le Pen likely to win the first round of vot­ing next April but lose the runoff in May to who­ever should be her op­po­nent. Asked dur­ing an in­ter­view with the BBC’s An­drew Marr show if Trump’s vic­tory made her own elec­tion win more likely, Le Pen said: “He made pos­si­ble what had pre­vi­ously been pre­sented as im­pos­si­ble so it is re­ally the vic­tory of the peo­ple against the elite.”

“So if I can draw a par­al­lel with France then yes I wish that in France also the peo­ple up­end the ta­ble, the ta­ble around which the elites are di­vid­ing up what should go to the French peo­ple,” she said, ac­cord­ing to a trans­la­tion into English pro­vided by the BBC.

Le Pen said she hoped all EU cit­i­zens could get the chance to ex­press their views on the Euro­pean Union through a ref­er­en­dum like Bri­tain’s June 23 vote, ad­ding that “the elites would be in for an­other sur­prise” if they did ask the ques­tion. She also said there was no rea­son for Europe to be scared of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

“We’d bet­ter, if we want a pow­er­ful Europe, ne­go­ti­ate with Rus­sia, and have co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with Rus­sia, com­mer­cial agree­ments with Rus­sia,” she said, ad­ding that it was the EU that was desta­bi­liz­ing Europe, not Rus­sia. “The model that is de­fended by Vladimir Putin which is one of rea­son, pro­tec­tion­ism, look­ing af­ter the in­ter­ests of his own country, de­fend­ing its iden­tity, is one that I like.” Le Pen said her party had bor­rowed from a Rus­sian bank but only be­cause French banks had re­fused to lend to it. — Reuters

FRE­JUS, SOUTH­ERN FRANCE: In this Sept. 18, 2016 file photo, France’s far-right Na­tional Front pres­i­dent Marine Le Pen waves to sup­port­ers dur­ing a sum­mer meet­ing. — AP

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