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 French government is aiming to place one of its nationals as EU Commission president after incumbent Jean-Claude Junker leaves the post this year, in preference to competing for the presidency of the European Central Bank, also due for a new head, according to informed sources cited by news agency Reuters.
The newly renamed La République En Marche (Republic on the Move) movement of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron has revealed a list of 428 candidates it will field in parliamentary elections next month, with a precise parity of men and women, a majority of individuals from civil society and an age gap ranging from 24 to 72, while it has yet to find another 149 in order to fight every constituency.
Opinion surveys immediately after a marathon TV debate on Monday between the top five candidates campaigning for the French presidency found the most convincing participant was centrist Emmanuel Macron, who on Tuesday was boosted by support from both a junior minister in the socialist government and also an advisor to President François Hollande.
The leading five candidates, out of a total of 11, take part in the first televised debate between them on Monday evening, regarded by observers as a key contest to win over what opinion polls show to be a large number of the elctorate who have yet to decide with who they will place their vote.
The final list of candidates qualified to stand in the French presidential elections that begin next month was announced by France's Consitutional Council on Saturday, made up of nine men and two women representing the full political spectrum.
While support for the early favourite to win this spring's presidential election, conservative candidate François Fillon, has slumped over allegations of providing fake jobs for his family, a separate fake jobs scandal surrounding far-right frontrunner Marine Le Pen appears to have so far caused little damage to her campaign.
The campaigning for the two-round elections that begin on April 23rd is heating up, with candidates turning for the first time to video blogs as a relatively inexpensive means of reaching a mass audience.
French economy minister Emmanuel Macron is to announce he will make a bid as an independent candidate for the French presidency in elections due in 2017, Mediapart has been told by well-informed sources. Macron, 38, who launched his own political movement last month, is reported to be actively seeking funds for his campaign. The move, which Mediapart understands may be announced in early June, could well be the final blow for President François Hollande’s own ambitions for a second term in office and has heightened tensions between Macron and Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Laurent Mauduit reports.
Future European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, due to take up his functions this autumn, already faces an immediate problem as he composes his list of 28 European commissioners. For out of the 23 nominations so far officialised, only four are women. That represents five less than the outgoing commission, whose female contingent have now co-signed an open letter to Juncker demanding he find at least ten women. As Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludavic Lamant reports, there is increasing uproar over the issue, notably among members of the European Parliament to who Juncker must submit his final list of commissioners for approval.