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In a few weeks, France will elect its next president. Given the French executive's considerable powers, including the authority to dissolve the National Assembly, the presidential election, held every five years, is France's most important. The two front-runners are the far-right National Front's Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, who served as economy minister under Socialist President Francois Hollande, but is running as an independent. If, as expected, Le Pen and Macron face off in the election's second round on May 7, it will be a political watershed for France: the first time in 60 years that the main parties of the left and the right are not represented in the second round.Although support for the National Front has been growing for more than a decade, the party has so far been kept out of power by France's two-round electoral system, which enables voters to unite against it in the second round.And, given the National Front's inability to make alliances, power has remained in the hands of the main parties of the left and the right, even as France has moved toward a tripartite political system.To govern in France's hybrid presidential-parliamentary system, Macron would need to secure a majority in the National Assembly.
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