When Emmanuel Macron recently set out his manifesto for next month's presidential election he adopted both the language and the policies of the mainstream Right. As a result the official right-wing candidate, Valérie Pécresse from the Les Républicains party, has seen her own position on the political spectrum squeezed. Her supporters are now wondering how to counter Macron's occupation of the Right's political terrain – and, indeed, whether it can be countered at all. Ilyes Ramdani reports.
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'.
German pressure-hose poducer Kärcher has demanded of France's 'political figures and the media to immediately cease all use of its name in the political sphere' after French conservative presidential hopeful Valérie Pécresse re-iterated Nicolas Sarkozy's allusion to it for cleaning out crime in low-income neighbourhoods.
In her first address as the French conservatives' presidential candidate, Valérie Pécresse vowed to break with President Emmanuel Macron's centrist policies and to defeat the extremism of her far-right presidential rivals.
Valérie Pécresse's victory in becoming the presidential candidate for the right-wing Les Républicains for the 2022 election has been greeted with an opinion poll suggesting she can defeat incumbent President Emmanuel Macron. However, the president of the Paris region is faced with a political quandary: how does she retain support from those who backed her nearest challenger for the candidacy, right-winger Éric Ciotti, who are attracted by the far right, without repelling the “moderate” right-wing voters who currently support Macron? As Ilyes Ramdani reports, it is the first key strategic challenge of her campaign - and perhaps the most crucial one.
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.
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