Opinion: This woman could overthrow the French President

Far-right perennial Marine Le Pen, Socialist Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo and conservative governor of the Paris region Valérie Pécresse each pose a unique challenge to the incumbent, President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has yet to officially declare his candidacy. The favoriteTo secure a second and final five year term.

Although the task is daunting, it is possible. They must defeat a wide field of candidates to be France’s first woman president. The first round of voting takes place in April. If there is no majority, the second round will take place between the top two candidates.

This could be a turning point in French politics and society, with more women candidates coming from the main political parties than ever. The French are well-known for embracing change, as they did with Macron at 39 years old. This is especially true if the challenger has new ways to solve difficult problems.

Now, after defeating a crowded field of established male politicians to win the conservative Les Républicains nomination last month, Pécresse has emerged as Macron’s Most significant challenger. The center-right candidate has succeeded in making it seem tough on crime and determined to preserve what many consider traditional values.
“The values of the right are values of authority, of reform, of courage, and that’s what it’s going to take,” Pécresse SubmittedA national radio audience in December. “They believe that authority is dissolved when a woman enters. This is false. They defend their people like Indira Gandhi or Golda Meir. She is also Likened to herself To former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, or Britain’s Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher.

Still, to win one of the two slots in the second round, Pécresse will need to find a formula that appeals to a broad segment of the increasingly narrowing French center while also attracting a chunk of those who’ve tilted toward Le Pen and the far-right.

Macron and Le Pen were able to win the last election five year ago. Macron won the second round easily. landslide victoryLe Pen won 34%, while Le Pen won 66%. Le Pen is back this time with an additional complication: she has her own far-right opponent with a dedicated following.
The ultra-nationalist commentator and television host Éric Zemmour has catapulted into contention with a toxic Islamophobic platform which has seen him Two times convicted Of inciting racial violence or hate speech. In fact, I attended his campaign launch at Parc des Expositions in Paris on December 5. It was both a revival meeting as well as a call-to arms. erupted In brawls
Zemmour called his new political party “Reconquest,” in reference to the 11th Century Reconquista, where Christians drove Muslim invaders from Spain. Zemmour’s platform, which embraces cutting taxes and immigration, has gained him a wider audience than the far-right. Le Pen and her National Rally Party have avoided Zemmour’s extreme rhetoric better than her father. Had A long-lasting following among those with a passion for the arts has been enjoyed for decades. Who espouse “France for the French”

These two candidates are at odds with each other and now divide the long-standing hard-right minority of voters. It’s hard to see a way for either candidate beyond the first round.

France's $19 billion weapons deal is sweet revenge
That these candidates of the moderate and far-right have little to fear from the French left, which ruled France for 19 years under François Mitterrand and François Hollande, is a tribute to the reality that this particular arc of the political spectrum is now largely in tatters. There are no left-leaning candidates polling higher than the 1%, which includes candidates from a variety of parties, from Communists to Greens. single digits.
Hidalgo is the third woman to be prominent, and she was nominated by the Socialists. Hidalgo is determined to combat Paris’s traffic congestion by creating lanes only for cyclists, scooters, and joggers and by enforcing motor vehicles onto narrower roads. However, commuters are not being driven into the subways and bike lanes by the traffic jams. igniting criticismHer methods. Hidalgo, outside of Paris, is not well-known beyond her plans for traffic management, mismanagement of the city’s budget, and its debt doublingSince her arrival in office.
Then, of course there’s Macron himself. Macron is positioning himself as the rightful heir of Merkel’s long-held title as Europe’s most prominent figure as France takes over the European Union’s 6-month rotating presidency among member countries. In his New Year’s address to the French, Macron stated that he was the rightful heir to Merkel’s long-standing title as Europe’s leading figure. message“I have worked, and we have worked tirelessly over almost five years to make France heard and respected in Europe as well as in the concert of countries.” She is.
We will see if the French leadership of Europe is received well by voters. A European flag was hoisted to Arc de Triomphe by France to celebrate its EU presidency. RemovedHours later, after generating outrage among Euroskeptic far right and right-wing politicians, it was overturned.
Macron has had greater success in tackling the five waves that Covid-19 have brought down across France. A national “pass sanitaire“has kept French restaurants, theaters, and sporting events running. Experts refer to this health pass “the key to your health.”Poster child” for such mandates to work in Europe. After Macron’s July announcement of the pass, vaccinations were made available. Spiked.
France’s election could ultimately come down to its health, when it goes to the polls April 26th. Macron has staked his presidency upon his handling of Covid-19. The far-right has embraced all the hard measures, including the universally accepted pass sanitaire. Le Pen: “Punitive Measures that Make No Sense” Sniffed. Pécresse, attempting to trod the fine line between left and right that she hopes will win her votes from both camps, It has been encouragedHidalgo also has “other measures”. condemnedLockdowns and support for broader vaccinations

With a new field of female candidates hoping to make French history, the race for the presidency is on. The French accepted the winner unquestioningly and universally in the end. That’s the one strength that was once shared, but is now missing on the other side.