Campaign leaflets for former French minister Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Forward !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, are seen at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer(reuters_tickers)
PARIS (Reuters) - Independent French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he would field candidates in all constituencies in June parliamentary elections and would welcome individual candidates from other parties.
Macron, a centrist whose rise in opinion polls is worrying leftwing and rightwing candidates in the presidential race, said he would launch a call for applications online for all those who would like to run in the parliamentary election under the colours of his En Marche (Forward) party.
The election in the lower house of parliament will come on the heels of the April and May presidential election.
"En Marche will field 577 candidates," the 39-year old ex-economy minister told a news conference.
"En Marche is there to welcome the candidacies of committed citizens. They can be Socialists, radicals, Ecologists, centrists or Republicans, as long as they agree with our platform," he said, referring to France's main leftwing, centre and conservative parties.
He added, however, that while he would welcome candidates from other parties, he would strike no deal with the parties themselves.
Macron, a former adviser and economy minister for Socialist President Francois Hollande, declared himself year a candidate for the April and May presidential elections late last year.
While there are no polls yet for the parliamentary elections, he is well ahead of Hollande's Socialists in opinion polls for the presidential ballot, triggering speculation that he will win sizeable backing from Socialist lawmakers.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Richard Balmforth)