>> French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen standing aside temporarily at least, as the leader of the National Front. Saying during a television interview the president is the president of all French people and needs to unite them.>>
> That's a deeply held conviction, but now we have to act on it.
And that's why I think it's essential to stand back temporarily from the leadership of the National Front. So this evening I'm no longer the president of the National Front, I am a candidate for the presidency of France.>> The move appears to be a mere formality changing nothing in her campaign platform.
Reuters special correspondent, Noah Barkin, says it's a symbolic act ahead of the second round.>> Presidency in France is supposed to be, to some extent, as it was conceived at the founding of the Fifth Republic, Charles de Gaulle, in 1958, as being above politics. Now of course, the president can't be above politics completely, but this is a signal from Marine Le Pen that she wants to bring in voters from other parties.
>> Le Pen finished a close second in Sunday's first round, beaten by Centrist Emmanuel Macron. Most polls see the far right candidate trailing her inexperienced rival 40 points to 60 in the run off vote in two weeks time. Her aim now is to widen her support base in order to beat Macron on May 7th.
In the same interview expressing her confidence in doing just that, saying, it's totally doable.>>
Opening the battle for second round votes, Le Pen attacked Macron as being weak on the issue of Islamist militancy. And reaffirmed her promise to suspend the EUs open border agreement and expel foreigners on intelligence service watch lists.
Outgoing French President, Francois Hollande, urging voters to back Macron on Monday, saying Le Pen represents a risk for France.