Keyword: 2017 presidential elections
In an interview with the BBC, French Prime minister Manuel Valls has hinted that state of emergency powers, introduced after last year's Paris terrorist attacks, would be prolonged to next spring when the country holds presidential and parliamentary elections.
Just when President François Hollande’s chances for re-election next year appeared as low as they could ever get, they fell even lower still after the publication last week of a book of interviews in which he launches a series of scathing attacks on a wide number of people ranging from the judiciary to footballers, his political opponents to his allies, and the rebels on the Left of his Socialist Party. Amid the outrage caused by his comments, Hollande’s remaining allies in the party view the book as the last straw in a long-running series of blunders that now make him, in the words of one socialist senator, “indefensible”. Lénaïg Bredoux and Christophe Gueugneau report on the fury and dismay of socialist MPs and members of government.
The seven rivals in the race to become the presidential candidate for the mainstream right-wing opposition party Les Républicains in elections next April take to the stage Thursday for their first live TV debate, with opinion surveys indicating that former president Nicolas Sarkozy lags behind veteran Gaullist Alain Juppé.
Front National leader Marine Le Pen, speaking at her party's annual rally in southern France, said she was eager to start debates with opponents, some still undeclared, in the run-up to the April and May 2017 elections.
Alain Juppé, the leading contender for conservative Les Républicains party primaries, launched his campaign Saturday with a meeting in which he proposed a more conciliatory tone towards French Muslims.
Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday announced to little surprise that he is standing in the primary elections of his conservative Républicains party this November in the hope of becoming its candidate in next year’s presidential elections. But the former president’s re-election bid is marred by his implication in several judicial investigations, two of which are likely to see him sent for trial. Michel Deléan and Mathilde Mathieu detail the long list of Sarkozy’s judicial woes, and the prospect of his election gamble to avoid prosecution.
Sarkozy, 61, unseated from the Elysée Palace in elections in 2012, said he would seek his conservative party's nomination as candidate for the 2017 elections.
French economy minister Emmanuel Macron on Friday handed veteran far-right politician Philippe de Villiers a public return to legitimacy, paying visit to the latter's money-spinning theme park and praising him as a"cultural entrepreneur". Amid the high-profile visit, the socialist government minister also proclaimed that "I am not socialist". Ahead of an expected bid for the presidency in elections due next May, Macron now regularly stars as the cover story for French weekly Paris-Match, in what appears almost a mirror image of the magazine's coverage dedicated last year to Nicolas Sarkozy. Here, Mediapart editor François Bonnet argues that Macron's political manoeuvring is nothing but an empty vase, and made possible only by the weakness of a used-up government approaching its final bow.
The unemployment rate in France dropped below 10% during the second quarter of this year, and for the first time since 2012, according to figures released on Thursday by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The news appears to pave the way for President François Hollande to announce his re-election bid in next year’s presidential elections but, as Martine Orange reports in this analysis of the figures, the slight fall in official jobless numbers cannot mask the grim reality of France’s endemic unemployment.