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    Marine Le Pen, French presidential candidate and leader of the political party the National Front, during a news conference following the first round of the presidential election.

    Le Pen to 'Be Stronger Than Ever Before' Even if She Loses Presidential Runoff

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    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)

    The second round of the French presidential election is taking place on Sunday, May 7. Nikola Jovanovic, program director of the Belgrade Center for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development believes that Emmanuel Macron is likely to gain more support than his counterpart Marine Le Pen.

    However, according to the expert, even if the leader of the National Front won't be able to receive the majority of the votes, she will still have significant influence on the country's politics.

    "I think that Macron will win almost with absolute probability, but I also believe that after the election the National Front will be stronger than ever before. After the election, Le Pen will become one of the leading players in the French parliament," the expert told Sputnik Serbia.

    Commenting on the recent debate between the two candidates, Jovanovic said that there were objective reasons behind the aggression and mutual accusations of both politicians toward each other.

    "Well, we are talking about candidates with absolutely different value systems, different visions of France's future. So, each of the candidates wanted to not just win, but also to delegitimize his or her opponent. Le Pen offers the idea of a sovereign France, which distances itself from the Euro-Atlantic allies, primarily from the US. Macron, in turn, proposes to continue the policy of Francois Hollande. Both candidates speak of an independent France, but differently understand this independence," Jovanovic said.

    The polling stations opened in France at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday. In the second round of the vote, two candidates face each other: independent Emmanuel Macron, the leader of "En Marche!" movement, who got 24 percent of the votes in the first round, and right-wing Marine Le Pen, who came second with 21 percent of the votes.

    So far, exit polls predict Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French election runoff, but several experts believe that Marine Le Pen's victory is possible if specific conditions are met.

    For instance, according to a political scientist from the Liege University, Dr. Pierre Verjans, low voter turnout may help right-wing French presidential candidate Le Pen win the presidential election runoff.

    2017 French Presidential Election: Round 2 (36)


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