France’s 2017 presidential election is set to be like no other in the modern era.
As supporters of the center-right Republican party prepare to vote in their primary next month, there are at least 12 declared candidates, with President Francois Hollande and his former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron shaping up to join the fray. Though not all of the contenders will make it to April, the race is wide open with far-right leader Marine Le Pen making the running with her attacks on the European Union as voters’ satisfaction with the bloc plummets.
For the first time since Charles de Gaulle’s return to power in 1958 ushered in the Fifth Republic, both France’s two main political parties are holding primary contests, and Hollande is the first incumbent to reach such depths of unpopularity.
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