Far-right French presidential election candidate Éric Zemmour said he agreed that Ukrainian refugees should be given visas to enter France 'if they have family' in the country, but that 'Arab or Muslim immigrants are too unlike us'.
Valérie Pécresse, the presidential election candidate for the conservative Les Républicains party, on Sunday held what was billed as a key speech to re-boot her struggling campaign, dogged by defections, infighting, and the pull exerted on her electorate by the two far-right candidates with whom she lies neck-and-neck in opinion polls. Her speech, however, has only added to her woes, after it was slammed on Monday by party officials for borrowing far-right rhetoric, and dismissed by media commentators as a lacklustre performance. Ilyes Ramdani, who was at the meeting, reports.
At a rally that drew around 7,000 supporters in Paris on Sunday, the 54-year-old conservative candidate in April's presidential elections, Valérie Pécresse, sandwiched in opinion polls between two far-right candidates and well adrift of outgoing president Emmanuel Macron, gave a hardline speech pledging to crackdown on immigration and to fight so-called 'woke culture' in the cause of building 'a new France'.
Last November, far-right polemicist Éric Zemmour, a newspaper columnist and TV pundit with several conviction for hate speech, announced he was standing in France’s presidential elections. Without an established party apparatus behind him, Zemmour’s campaign team have been networking the wealthy in search of financial donors. Mediapart has gained access to documents that reveal the identities of 35 of the largest donors, mostly found through fundraising dinners where guests include industrialists, bankers, high-flying lawyers and management consultants. Sébastien Bourdon, Ariane Lavrilleux and Marine Turchi report.
by Sébastien Bourdon, Ariane Lavrilleux and Marine Turchi
Unable to unite around a single candidate for France’s presidential elections in April, France’s profoundly divided broad Left faces a trouncing at the polls. Its stand-alone candidates were joined at the weekend by Christiane Taubira, an icon for some among the socialist movement, whose bid threatens to further splinter the leftwing vote. Fabien Escalona and Mathilde Goanec report.
The Bas-Rhin département or county in north-east France, which borders Germany, is dominated politically by the Right and far-right. Mediapart visited the region to test the mood on the ground and found that more and more local people, and especially those in rural areas, are choosing to abstain from voting. Quietly, and with no fanfare, swathes of people in this area are saying a discreet farewell to the world of politics. Mathilde Goanec reports from the towns of Drusenheim and Haguenau.
On Friday evening Emmanuel Macron delivered the final New Year's presidential broadcast to the nation of his five-year term of office. Ahead of April's presidential elections – for which Macron has yet to officially declare himself as a candidate – the incumbent gave a rapid overview of what he sees as his achievements in office. Despite the Covid pandemic, President Macron sought to describe a political landscape that embraced both “optimism” and “tolerance” - an assessment, says Ellen Salvi, that stands in stark contrast to the reality of his presidency. Political opponents immediately accused the president of being “out of touch”.
Emmanuel Macron has still to announce his widely expected bid for a second term in office in next April’s presidential elections. His eventual rivals accuse him of unfairly using his position to already campaign in disguise, and notably when France takes over the rotating, six-month presidency of the EU Council on January 1st. As Ellen Salvi reports, it will give Macron the opportunity of testing his election campaign arguments to win over the Eurosceptics among his potential electorate on the Right, and notably on the handling of the Covid-19 crisis and immigration controls.
As the clock ticks down for next April's presidential elections in France, the divided French Left, which with several candidates is split and poorly positioned for success against the conservative and far-right hopefuls, is set to have yet another challenger in the race after Christiane Taubira, a Black Guyanese former socialist justice minister, announced that she will probably stand and 'use all my strength' to unite her political camp.
While Pécresse would trail Macron in April's first round by 20 percent to his 23 percent, she would win a second run-off by 52 points to 48, the Elabe group survey published on Tuesday evening indicated.
At his first major political rally ahead of next year's presidential elections, radical left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon positioned himself as a bastion of the Left against the Right and far right in France. The veteran founder of La France Insoumise also showed at the gathering in Paris that he was able to pull together a diverse range of figures from across the left of the political spectrum. Pauline Graulle reports.