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In France Ex-economy minister Macron to run for president - aides

Macron will aim to exploit the deep divisions in the French left to make a run for the presidency.

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Emmanuel Macron is the founder of the "En Marche!" ("On the Move") political movement play

Emmanuel Macron is the founder of the "En Marche!" ("On the Move") political movement

(AFP/File)

Ex-French economy minister Emmanuel Macron, a 38-year-old former banker who has vowed to transform the country's politics, has decided to stand in next year's presidential election, aides told AFP Tuesday.

Macron "will declare his candidacy before December 10", a member of his team said, putting an end to months of speculation over his intentions since he quit the Socialist government in August.

"All the conditions are in place," the aide said, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Macron, a business-friendly former protege of Socialist President Francois Hollande, will aim to exploit the deep divisions in the French left to make a run for the presidency.

Hollande, who has some of the lowest popularity ratings of any post-war president, is expected to decide by the end of the year if he will make a bid for re-election.

Macron founded his own political movement, En Marche ("On the Move"), in April saying he wanted to promote "new ideas... neither of the right nor the left".

His straight-talking, anti-establishment flair has seen him attract many young, cosmopolitan supporters, but his appeal to the wider electorate is untested.

Polls currently show that the presidential election will come down to a second-round runoff between a centre-right candidate who is still to be decided and the leader of the far-right National Front (FN), Marine Le Pen.

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