Paris, France…The field has been narrowed down in the French Presidential elections. No candidate from the traditional power bases in France drew enough votes to continue to round two. The battle which moves to a May 7th runoff will between former Socialist Party member Emmanuel Macron & National Front Marine Le Pen.
Biographies on both…
“Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (French: [emanɥɛl makʁɔ̃]; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician, senior civil servant, and former investment banker. Born in Amiens, he studied Philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, completed a Master’s of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, and graduated from the École nationale d’administration (ENA) in 2004. He worked as an Inspector of Finances in the Inspectorate General of Finances (IGF) and then became an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.
A member of the Socialist Party (PS) from 2006 to 2009, Macron was appointed as deputy secretary-general under François Hollande’s first government in 2012. He was appointed Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in 2014 under the Second Valls Government, where he pushed through business-friendly reforms. He resigned in August 2016 to launch a bid in the 2017 presidential election. In November 2016, Macron declared that he would run in the election under the banner of En Marche!, a centrist political movement he founded in April 2016. He qualified for the runoff after the first round of the election on 23 April 2017.” From Wikipedia
“Marion Anne Perrine “Marine” Le Pen (French: [maʁin ləpɛn]; born 5 August 1968) is a French lawyer and politician. She is the president of the National Front (FN), a political party in France. She is the youngest daughter of long-time FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and the aunt of FN MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.
Le Pen joined the National Front in 1986 and was elected as a regional councillor (1998–present), a Member of European Parliament (2004–present), and a municipal councillor in Hénin-Beaumont (2008–2011). She won the leadership of the FN in 2011 with 67.65% (11,546 votes) of the vote, defeating Bruno Gollnisch and succeeding her father, who had been president of the party since he founded it in 1972. In 2012, she placed third in the presidential election with 17.90% of the vote, behind François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. She launched a second presidential bid for the upcoming election, scheduled for April 2017. Finishing second in the first round of the upcoming election, Le Pen will face Emmanuel Macron in the second round on 7 May 2017.
Described as more democratic and republican than her nationalist father, Le Pen has led a movement of “de-demonization of the Front National” to detoxify and soften its image, based on renovated positions and renewed teams, also expelling controversial members accused of racism, antisemitism, or pétainism. She expelled her father from the party on 20 August 2015 after he made new controversial statements” From Wikipedia