Former French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira on Saturday launched her bid to unite the fledgling French left and challenge President Emmanuel Macron in the April presidential election, but she faces a series of competing candidates who are reluctant to step down. to give.
“I’m committed to you here because I share your aspirations for a different kind of government,” Taubira told supporters in Lyon at the official launch of her campaign.
Taubira, the Minister of Justice in the administration from 2012 to 2017 of Socialist President François Hollande, blew “top-down power and absence of social dialogue” under Macron and promised to fight for higher wages, better conditions for schoolchildren and students, such as also health care and environmental protection.
Taubira, 69, was born in the French South American region of Guyana, where she served as an MP. She is left-winged after fighting for a law recognizing the slave trade as a crime against humanity, and for leading same-sex marriage in the 2013 statute books as justice minister.
“We’ll do it all together, because that’s where we can go,” she told a jubilant crowd waving signs with “Mei Taubira.”
But she risks becoming just one of six candidates crawling for votes among the roughly 30 percent of voters who lean to the left.
They range from firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon – the top-ranked in polls compiled by the JDD weekly at close to 10 percent – to Green’s candidate Yannick Jadot and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo at 6.5 and 3.5 percent.
A January poll received Taubira with about 4.5 percent support.
“If she somehow manages to unite the reformers behind her, then her candidacy could be a game-changer,” political analyst Thomas Guénolé told FRANCE 24 on Monday, warning quickly: “Without unity, however, she will become another element in a ‘Balkanized’ (and hopeless) left.
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On the right, three challengers – conservative Valerie Pécresse, traditional far-right leader Marine Le Pen and rebellious TV pundit Éric Zemmour – have some prospects of including the incumbent Macron in the second round of elections.
Although the president has yet to declare his candidacy, the president enjoys even the highest ratings in the first round on about one in four voters.
Taubira’s supporters claim they have the power to bolster “gold” among left-wingers, who are the biggest losers after the collapse of the traditional left-right political divide since Macron’s shocking presidential victory in 2017.
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The former minister “wants to be the antidote to the fatigue among left-wing voters, who can no longer tolerate fragmentation,” said Christian Paul, a supporter of Taubira and mayor of the small town of Lormes in central France.
One tool that Taubira has committed to is a so-called “People’s Primary” of about 120,000 registered voters who will crown the favorite left-wing candidate.
But while Taubira promised to respect the result, other key candidates refused to sign up for the process.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)