French far-right politician Marine Le Pen returned to the electoral fray on Sunday, announcing herself as a candidate in the parliamentary elections in June after weeks of silence since she lost the presidential vote to Emmanuel Macron last month.
“I hope that we will have a strong presence in parliament to lead, once again, the fight against the social policies that Emmanuel Macron wants to put in place,” she said, adding she would run for re-election in her northern constituency of Pas-de-Calais.
Le Pen was speaking on a visit to the town of Henin-Beaumont marking Victory Day — the anniversary of the Allies’ victory in 1945 over Nazi Germany in World War II.
Le Pen, defeated by Macron in the April 24 runoff election, pitched herself as the centrist president’s main opponent and took aim at hard-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon.
Melenchon, who came third in the first round of the presidential election, is leading a coalition of left-wing parties that hope to deprive Macron of a majority in parliament. That alliance launched its campaign on Saturday.
“The reality is that Jean-Luc Melenchon helped get Emmanuel Macron elected, so that completely discredits his ability to position himself as an opponent,” Le Pen said, highlighting her disagreement with the left-wing politician on immigration and law and order issues.
Le Pen’s party, the National Rally (RN), currently holds only seven seats in the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament. The party, which has sought in recent years to soften its image, will not form an alliance with far-right pundit-turned-presidential candidate Eric Zemmour and his party Reconquete.
Macron, sworn in for a second term on Saturday, will preside over Sunday’s main Victory Day event at the Place de L’Etoile in Paris.