Socialist Paris mayor in race for French presidency

Ceremony at Paris city hall with the French Paralympic delegation
Ceremony at Paris City Hall with the French Paralympic Delegation
FILE PHOTO: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is applauded as she attends a ceremony with the French Paralympic delegation in front of the City Hall in Paris, France September 6, 2021. Reuters / Eric Gaillard

September 12, 2021

by Richard Lough

PARIS (Reuters) – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Sunday she would run for presidency on a socialist ticket in 2022, although polls indicate she has little chance of rising to a serious challenge unless she is fractured. Cannot unite the Left.

Hidalgo, who became the first woman to run the French capital in 2014 and is among the few senior left-wing politicians to emerge from President Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 political scene relatively unscathed, polled nearly 8% voter support in the first of April. are doing. Round.

Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are currently holding between 20% and 24% of the vote.

“Knowing the gravity of our times and giving hope to our lives, I have decided to be a candidate for the French presidency,” the 62-year-old said as she announced her bid in the Normandy city of Rouen.

She promises a greener economy, re-industrialization of old manufacturing sectors, puts citizens front and center of the EU and reforms in education – but she hasn’t put too much meat on the bones of her agenda just yet. .

As mayor of Paris, Spain-born Hidalgo to toughen up on polluting vehicles and build new bike lanes during the COVID-19 crisis, converting the once traffic-choked banks of the Seine River into bustling promenades Has won.

While Paris has boosted her profile as the host of the next Olympic Games, she remains an unknown relative outside the capital’s ring-roads.

Meanwhile the Socialist Party has struggled to rebuild Macron, a former banker who had little political experience before his election victory, which alienated mainstream parties.

Party members will decide which candidate to put forward. Hidalgo’s only rival so far is former agriculture minister Stephane Le Fol.

But the Left is deeply divided. Earlier this month, former economy minister Arnaud Montberg said he would contest as an independent candidate. Hariyali, who did well in the municipal elections last year, will also announce a runner-up in the coming weeks. Two other candidates from the far left have also thrown caps into the ring.

Analysts say any challenge to the centre-left will need to rally the Greens and Socialists behind a single ticket to make it to the second-round run-off.

Polls currently show Macron and Le Pen as the most likely runners-up for the second round.

(Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by John Irish and Raisa Kasolowski)

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