On Wednesday, the former economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron launched his French presidential bid in a move aimed at taking votes from mainstream candidates. There is no denying that it is going to be a pretty tight race and a strong turnout is expected Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader. In August, the 38-year-old resigned from the cabinet of Socialist President Francois Hollande in order to make preparations for a campaign. He will stand in next year’s election as an independent. It is indicated by opinion polls that the left in general as well as Hollande are facing a rout.
This is primarily due to the issues that have lifted Le Pen such as a perceived poor record of national security, unemployment and immigration. Ex-investment banker, Macron had previously introduced labor reforms for President Hollande. However, he is yet to provide any details regarding the policies he will pursue. Even though he is one of the most popular politicians in France, he doesn’t have a party apparatus to back him and he has never had a chance to hold office. Therefore, some are of the opinion that his campaign is going to struggle. Nonetheless, he is regarded as more likely to take votes away from the favorite candidate to win the French presidency, conservative Alain Juppe.
Juppe is currently battling in a very tight race for the center-right nomination in the presidential primary elections that are scheduled for Sunday and involve the Les Republicans party as well as its central-right allies. When he made the announcement for his election bid, Macron said that he had had the chance to see the shallowness of the country’s political system from the inside and he wanted to steer away from clan-based policies. The Left and Right directed criticism towards Macron and accused him of betraying his former boss.
Macron has now become a potential competitor of Hollande and the Socialists. But, he has shrugged off these accusations. He said that his goal was to reunite the French people and not to worry about the Left and Right. He added that the ideal way for the country to deal with globalization is to form closer times with the rest of Europe as opposed to the inward-looking policies that other contenders have put forward. A similarly centralist and pro-European platform has been adopted by Juppe, which has positioned him to the left of Nicolas Sarkozy, his primary rival.
An ex-president, Sarkozy is competing with the appeal of the far right National Front to populist voters with a hard line on immigration and security and also by criticizing EU policies. Moreover, Marcon is not the only problem that Juppe has had to deal with in this week. Fresh poll results showed that the Juppe-Sarkozy competition could get even further complicated due to the involvement of ex-premier, Francois Fillon. There is also a common feeling that more surprises will be revealed after Donald Trump came to power in the United States due to populist votes and are most likely to eliminate Britain from the EU.