Setback for far-right leader in French local elections

PARIS — The candidate for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally lost out to the center-right in the southern French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in local elections Sunday.

National Rally candidate Thierry Mariani got 42.7 percent of the vote, against 57.3 percent for the incumbent regional president Renaud Muselier for Les Républicains.

The loss is great disappointment for Le Pen, who was hoping to take at least one region in Sunday’s local ballots to boost to her presidential bid for 2022. The far-right leader is gearing up for her third attempt at taking the Elysée and polls show she and Emmanuel Macron are neck-and-neck for April’s vote.

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