Former French minister to run for Presidency

Paris, Nov 16 (IANS) Former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday said he will join the 2017 presidential race as an independent candidate.

“I’m ready. I’m a candidate for the Presidency of the Republic because I believe that we can succeed, that France can succeed,” Xinhua news agency quoted Macron as saying.

“This decision is the fruit of an intimate and deep conviction,” he said.

Macron, 38, joined the Socialist government in August 2014 to replace ousted Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg. Two years after, he quit the job to focus on his political career.

He disclosed his political ambition after creating his own political movement “En Marche” (On the Move), vowing to lead the movement “to 2017 and to victory”.

Recent polls suggested he was a popular candidate for the French Presidency, trailing former Prime Minister Alain Juppe and far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.