France election: Marine Le Pen would make Dupont-Aignan PM

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Nicolas Dupont-Aignan was the candidate of a mainstream right-wing party

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said she will make a defeated rival her prime minister, if elected.

Ms Le Pen, of the far-right National Front (FN), chose Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, of the mainstream nationalist "Stand Up France" in an apparent bid to attract his voters.

Mr Dupont-Aignan had already backed Ms Le Pen for the second round.

Ms Le Pen faces centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second, decisive round of voting, which takes place on 7 May.

Mr Dupont-Aignan, who got 4.7% in the first round, stood on a platform of leaving the euro and scrapping the European Union, higher ethical standards for elected officials, and focusing on the fight against jihadist terrorism.

He said it was time to stop treating Ms Le Pen as untouchable.

Emmanuel Macron


Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen


Marine Le Pen

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*Polling results up to this date show how people said they would vote on 7 May, if Macron and Le Pen reached the second round

The BBC's Hugh Schofield, in Paris, says the alliance between the two right-wing parties is symbolically important as it is the first time the FN has formed a pact with a mainstream political party.

Ms Le Pen's manifesto has been adapted to take in some of her putative prime minister's policies.

But the new alliance is less likely to appeal to the nearly 20% of French voters who cast their first round ballot for left-winger Jean-Luc Mélenchon, correspondents say.

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Image caption,
Outgoing President Hollande (centre) chose not to stand for re-election

Outgoing President François Hollande, speaking in Brussels at his last EU summit, said the election on 7 May "is a European choice".

"The French have everything to gain by staying in the European Union," he told reporters gathered at the summit to discuss the UK leaving the bloc.

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