The leader of France’s far-right party Marine Le Pen formally announced she would enter the race for the presidency on Tuesday.
The 43-year-old secured endorsements from the required 500 elected officials in time to be allowed to take part in next month’s vote.
“From today onwards, millions of citizens can have fresh hope, can take part in the campaign and will finally be represented in the elections. I hope I can be worthy of their confidence,” said Le Pen.
With less than six weeks until the first round of the election, political analysts say if she had failed to win enough support, Le Pen’s share of the vote would have almost certainly gone to current President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Since the former lawyer took over the party leadership from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, the Front National party has backed away from it’s staunch anti-immigration policies. In recent years, the party has become increasingly eurosceptic.