France: one more candidate in a weakened and divided left camp

France: one more candidate in a weakened and divided left camp< /p> UPDATE DAY

The former Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, in turn threw herself into the bath of the French presidential election on Saturday, with the ambitious but almost impossible objective of bringing together a camp of the left fragmented and already overloaded with candidates. 

After several weeks of false suspense, Mrs. Taubira announced her candidacy, declaring that she wanted to respond to “the anger” in the face of “social injustices” and that she intended to convene a “conference on salaries” with a program that was based on the defense of youth, social justice or even ecology.

“The pandemic has revealed social suffering that has affected all generations”, she declared during a militant rally for the union of the left, in the district of Croix-Rousse in Lyon (center), a symbolic choice in a nod to the Canuts, the former workers of this silk district.

“I want a government that knows how to dialogue instead of moralizing and caporalizing,” she added, alluding to the controversy over the words of President Emmanuel Macron who said he wanted to “fuck the unvaccinated” against the Covid. -19.

With less than three months to go before the first round, the left now has six main candidates: in addition to Ms. Taubira, the radical leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the ecologist Yannick Jadot, the communist Fabien Roussel , the former minister Arnaud Montebourg, however close to giving up, and the mayor of socialist Paris Anne Hidalgo. None so far exceed the 10% mark in the polls.

Emmanuel Macron, not yet officially declared, is still a winner in the first round ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, closely followed by right-wing candidate Valérie Pécresse.

Last to enter the arena, Christiane Taubira had announced at the end of December that she planned to be a candidate “in the face of the impasse” of a left more than ever divided, assuring that she would not be “one more candidate” and would put “all her forces in the last chances of the union”.

– “Popular primary” – 

The former MP for Guyana, the French overseas region where she was born 69 years ago, distinguished herself for the left-wing electorate through his fight for the law recognizing the slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity and above all for having supported, as minister, the law opening up marriage and adoption to homosexual couples, adopted in 2013 .

A presidential candidate in 2002, she won only 2.32% of the vote.

Although she has not yet made a breakthrough in the polls (4.5% in a poll at the beginning of January), those around her assure us that she still arouses “fervor” within a left-wing electorate disoriented since Emmanuel Macron's victory in 2017 and the disintegration of traditional political parties.

“Christiane Taubira wants to be the antidote to the weariness of the left-wing electorate who can no longer stand the dispersion,” says Christian Paul, mayor of Lormes (center), who is campaigning alongside her. 

But the situation remains extremely confused. Ms. Taubira is counting on a citizen “investiture” carried by a collective organizing a left-wing primary from January 27 to 30…. in which the other left-wing candidates have refused to participate.

For now , this primary counts 120,000 registered voters, and, says the former minister, its result will give “the most beautiful legitimacy” to the winner.

An analysis rejected by the other candidates, in particular the ecologist Yannick Jadot, who himself submitted to a primary in his camp at the end of September.

Ms. Taubira's statement comes the day before a major meeting of Jean-Luc Mélenchon in Nantes (west) . The turbulent tribune of the Insoumis (radical left), who has always ruled out rallying behind another left-wing candidate, inaugurates an “immersive and olfactory” meeting in Nantes, with the admitted objective of standing out and appearing innovative and dynamic. .

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