France’s Constitutional Council validated on Saturday eleven candidates to run in the first round of the French presidential elections on April 23.
The candidates, announced by the council’s president Laurent Fabius, include far-right leader Marine Le Pen, independent centrist Emmanuel Macron and conservative Francois Fillon.
The top two will qualify for a run-off on May 7.
The eleven candidates are:
Natalie Arthaud, 46, Workers’ Struggle: Economics professor who runs for the far-left Trotskyist party. Wants the voice of the workers to be heard. Won 0.5 percent of vote in 2012.
Francois Asselineau, 59, Popular Republican Union: A member of France’s elite administrative corp of finance inspectors, sovereigntist, who wants withdrawal from EU, Euro, NATO.
Jacques Cheminade, 75, Solidarity & Progress Party: Former civil servant in economy ministry. Running in third presidential race having won 0.2 percent in 2012. Wants to break free from shackles of international finance, leave EU and drop the euro.
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, 55, Debout La France: Gaullist, sovereigntist lawmaker, who won 1.8 percent of vote in 2012. Formerly of the centre-right party, wants to renegotiate European treaties, reduce immigration and reconsider the euro.
Francois Fillon, 63, The Republicains: Seeking return to power for mainstream centre-right after five-year hiatus. Won the ticket on proposals to slash public spending and cut state sector jobs. Social conservative from region with strong Catholic roots.
Benoit Hamon, 49, Socialist Party: Positioned to the left end of his Socialist Party. ‘Big idea’ is costly social welfare reform under which the state provides a no-strings monthly income to all adults.
Jean Lassalle, 61, Independent: Centrist lawmaker. Known for a 39-day hunger strike to oppose a factory closure in his constituency. Proposes moratorium on national debt, renegotiation of European treaties, disengagement of overseas military operations.
Marine Le Pen,48, National Front: Seeking first presidential win for far-right party her father Jean-Marie Le Pen founded in 1972 but which she has rebranded as anti-establishment party that caters to working class voters of left-wing leaning as well as anti-immigrant, anti-EU and “French-first” voters.
Emmanuel Macron, 39, En Marche, an unaffiliated movement: Former investment banker, economy minister under Socialist President Francois Hollande. Created non-partisan political movement with stated goal of transcending the limits of traditional left- and right-wing parties, with policies that would combine state protection and business freedom to innovate.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, 65, Left Party: Total overhaul of political system, high tax, big spending on environmental transition, EU-hostile. “Indomitable France” grouping is backed by the country’s Communist party.
Philippe Poutou, 49, New Anticapitalist Party: Car factory worker. Like Arthaud wants to defend the rights of workers. Won 1 percent of vote in 2012.