French candidate Macron wins key backer – defense chief

Le Drian's support adds weight to Macron's centrist campaign, and comes after two other members of Hollande's Socialist government joined Macron

By: AP | Paris | Updated: March 24, 2017 4:52:53 pm
Emmanuel Macron, Macron, angela merkel, germany, EU, European Union, France presidential elections, france presidential election, france election 2017, france presidential election 2017, Manuel Valls, Francois Fillon, Francois Fillon wife scandal, latest news, latest world news Emmanuel Macron (Source: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

Independent French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron has won the backing of the defense minister, which could bolster voter confidence that the 39-year-old is presidential material despite having no party and minimal political experience. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, leading France’s military operations against Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq, announced the move in Ouest-France newspaper Friday.

Le Drian’s support adds weight to Macron’s centrist campaign, and comes after two other members of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government joined Macron. However Macron is being careful not to associate himself too closely with Hollande’s unpopular outgoing administration and the divided Socialists.

Macron, a former banker with pro-market views who has never held elected office, is considered the front-runner for the two-round vote April 23 and May 7.

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