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French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen steps down as leader of National Front party

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen steps down as leader of National Front party
Marine Le Pen's move on Monday appears to be a way for her to embrace a wide range of potential voters ahead of France's presidential runoff. She is running against centrist Emmanuel Macron, who received the most votes in Sunday's first round. (PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP/Getty Images)

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has announced that she is stepping down as head of the far right National Front party.

Monday's move appears to be a way for Le Pen to embrace a wide range of potential voters ahead of the May 7 runoff between herself and Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist who came in first in Sunday's first round.

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"Tonight, I am no longer the president of the National Front. I am the presidential candidate," she said on French public television news.

Le Pen has said that she is not a candidate of her party, and made that point when she rolled out her platform in February, saying the measures she was espousing were not her party's, but her own.

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