Le Pen: Defeated far-right politician to run in France parliamentary elections
Defeated French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen will stand in parliamentary elections in June, her party announced on Thursday, underlining how she intends to remain in frontline politics.
The 53-year-old failed in a bid to unseat President Emmanuel Macron last weekend, but achieved 41.4 percent of the vote, up from the 33.9 percent she secured against Macron in 2017.
The head of her National Rally (RN) party, Jordan Bardella, confirmed that Le Pen would stand again for her constituency in northern France in parliamentary elections scheduled for 12 and 19 June.
"Marine Le Pen will stand for another term in the Pas-de-Calais," Bardella told reporters in the south of France.
Le Pen represents the deprived former mining town of Henin-Beaumont and surrounding area where she was elected in 2017 with around 58 percent of the vote.
Le Pen defiantly called her score in last weekend's presidential election a "brilliant victory" and quashed rumours that she would step back after her third successive presidential defeat.
Her party is now gearing up for parliamentary elections, hoping to secure a major presence in the national assembly after the disappointment of 2017 that saw it capture just eight seats.
Le Pen looks set to spurn a suggestion of combining forces with new rival on the far-right ex-TV pundit Eric Zemmour, whom she has clashed with repeatedly in recent months.
"He needs to deflate his head, which is enormous, and stop insulting people," RN vice-president Louis Aliot said of Zemmour on Monday.
A recent poll by the Harris Interactive group suggested the RN could win 75-105 seats in the 577-seat national assembly without an alliance with Zemmour.