PARIS – From far left to far right, young to old, 11 candidates are vying for France’s presidency in an election that is being watched as an indicator of populism’s global appeal. The traditional left-right contenders are joined — and often have been overshadowed during the campaign — by rivals pledging to scrap long-held expectations, such as France’s participation in the European Union and NATO.
French voters cast ballots Sunday in the first round of the election. The top-two vote-getters there move on to a presidential runoff vote on May 7.
Here’s a look at the candidates competing Sunday, who they are and what they promise for France:
Macron, 39, is a centrist with strong pro-business, pro-European views and an unconventional love story.
A former investment banker at Rothschild, he was unknown to the French people until Socialist President Francois Hollande named him economy minister in 2014, Macron never has held elected office. He now is considered one of the race’s front-runners.
Macron launched his own political movement, En Marche! (In Motion!) last year, and is running without the backing of an established party.
Macron wants more robust counterterrorism efforts and pledged to put pressure on internet giants to better monitor extremism online.
Macron’s wife, Brigitte, is 24 years his senior. The couple has…