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    Far right National Front party regional leader for southeastern France, Marion Marechal-Le Pen blows a kiss to supporters , at a meeting with supporters, after the first round of the regional elections, in Carpentras, southern France, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

    France's National Far Right Regional Election Victory 'Stunning'

    © AP Photo / Claude Paris
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    The French far-right National Front (FN) party's first round victory in the country's regional elections is stunning, a senior lawmaker in charge of foreign affairs at the upper house of Russian parliament said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration party was polling first with nearly 30 percent of the vote, after 98 percent of the ballots had been counted, according to the French Interior Ministry.

    "It is not yet a victory because there will be a second round. But this is a stunning outcome of many years of discussions in France about the relationship with its own sovereignty, European integration and the outside world," Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

    Kosachev observed that FN's strong performance demonstrated French voters' "disappointment with the previous results of France's reckless entrance into a nonexistent 'Europe'."

    The second round of regional elections is scheduled for Sunday, December 13. FN's victory is seen as a launchpad for Le Pen's presidential ambitions in 2017.

    The rise of far-right movements across Europe have been attributed to growing public anti-migrant and eurosceptic sentiment within the 28-member bloc. The FN received the second most votes in the departmental elections in March.

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    elections, French National Front Party, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, Konstantin Kosachev, France
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