France narrows the presidential field to 12 official candidates

France’s highest constitutional body on Monday published the official list of 12 presidential candidates who met the conditions to run in the second round of elections on April 10 and 24.

All 12 candidates managed to muster the 500 approvals from French elected officials needed to confirm their registration by the Constitutional Council.

Opinion polls show President Emmanuel Macron, elected in 2017, the favorite to win the lead in the second round of the second round on April 24, after his candidacy was officially announced last week.

Explain: How are the two-round French presidential elections going? Infographic: French presidential candidates

Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister under former Socialist President Francois Hollande, Macron came to power five years ago with a centrist platform and a newly founded party, vowing to reform the French economy and spur growth. He has presented himself as the dynamic leader of an “emerging country” that is reasserting itself on the European and world stage.

But Macron’s policies angered many who accused him of favoring the wealthy amid criticism that he was in fact ruling largely from the right. Tax benefits and wages.

Valerie Pecres, the president of the Ile-de-France region that includes Paris, surprised many by winning the primaries of the conservative Republican Party, becoming its first female candidate in the presidential election.

Pecresce, budget minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, has accused Macron of fiscal profligacy and tolerance of crime, but her campaign has failed to win support despite her party’s strong presence in local neighborhoods across France.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the veteran far-right, Le Pen, makes her third bid for the presidency after reaching the second round in 2017, where she was defeated by Macron.

Macron appears to have highlighted Le Pen as his main rival, shifting his own policies to the right in an attempt to lure voters from her National Rally party, which did poorly in the recent local elections – leading some in the party to question her leadership.

Eric Zemmour, journalist, television analyst and now a new candidate has won an important following for his diatribe against immigration and the Muslim headscarf, drawing in large numbers of Le Pen supporters in the process.

Zemmour enjoyed an early rise in the polls with calls to restore France’s lost greatness, and while his numbers plummeted, he remained behind Le Pen.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, head of the Eurosceptic Rise Up France party, is the mayor of a Paris suburb who has made fanciful decisions in the presidency since 2007, but scored under 10 in his two previous rounds.

He says his party is the true heir to General Charles de Gaulle and his push for French sovereignty, promising to suppress immigration and to give “a kick in the ass to the lazy, slackers and free riders” who take advantage of France. social security system.

The Socialist Party has been faltering since Hollande abandoned any bid for a second term in 2017, after becoming one of the most unpopular presidents in modern history.

Hidalgo, who handily won re-election to Paris mayor in 2020, promised more sweeping governance for the nation along with blanket wage increases for low-income workers.

But it has so far failed to replicate its popularity nationally, with polls showing it may not score even five per cent in the first round – the minimum required to repay her campaign spending under French law.

Yannick Gadot, a former Greenpeace activist, is hoping to reverse the Green Party’s resounding success in local elections two years ago, saying the French are ready to embrace an environmental revolution.

He is pushing what he calls pragmatic policies to combat climate change in place of the more radical ruptures some in his party are seeking, including ending France’s reliance on nuclear power.

The feisty leader of the France Unbowed party announced his candidacy months ago and currently leads among left-wing candidates in opinion polls, with about 12% of his voting intention.

Melenchon, the veteran politician famous for his rhetoric against globalization and “elites,” has an ardent base of supporters who say traditional socialists have lost touch with voters outside the big cities.

But with France’s political landscape shifting to the right, Melenchon will likely struggle to keep up with his success in 2017, when he took nearly 20 percent of the vote in the first round.

Fabien Roussel: The charismatic leader of the French Communist Party has seen his opinion poll numbers rise in recent weeks, although they are still far from strong in previous decades.

Russell has promised to raise taxes on corporations and high earners to pay for salary increases for teachers, nurses and other low-paying professions, and to nationalize big banks and energy giants.

Philippe Bhutto, a Ford factory worker who was laid off when the site closed in 2019, stands with the New Anti-Capitalist Party on a campaign pledging to disarm the police and rebuild public administration in France after years of budget constraints.

Natalie Arthod, a Trotskyite economics teacher siding with the Labor Struggle Party, Arthod is seeking the presidency for the third time.

It wants to raise the minimum wage to 2,000 euros ($2,180), ban job cuts by companies and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60.

Jan LaSalle, a parliamentarian from the southwest region of Bern, LaSalle is a former pastor known for going on a hunger strike to prevent factory closures.

His “Resistance” party wants to reduce the European Commission’s role in French affairs, and encourage more young people to revive the countryside as a “great national cause”.

(France 24 with AFP)

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