Far-right figure Zemmour announces presidential race to “save” France


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PARIS – French far-right expert Eric Zemmour announced his candidacy for the presidency on Tuesday with a video in which, on disturbing music and images of violence in the street https://www.youtube.com/c/ % C3% 89ricZemmourOfficiel, he declared that he wanted to save France from decadence and from minorities who “oppress the majority”.

A former journalist convicted of inciting racial hatred, he is the main candidate to challenge Marine Le Pen, leader of the more established far-right National Rally, for a place in the second round against President Emmanuel Macron.

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His candidacy makes the April 2022 election https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/whats-stake-frances-presidential-election-campaign-2021-11-30 a test of endurance and limits of the European far right, which has surged over the past decade but shows signs of reaching a ceiling as it pushes the boundaries of acceptable discourse.

“For a long time, I was happy with the role of journalist … but I no longer believe that a politician will have the courage to save the country from the tragic fate that awaits him,” said Zemmour, 63, in a published video. on social networks. media. “That’s why I decided to run for president.

Zemmour’s uncompromising criticism of Islam and immigration drew support from both Le Pen’s electoral base and the mainstream conservative right, but also alienated some voters Le Pen had long sought to reassure.

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As footage showed women wearing scarves, black men on the subway and CCTV footage of fighting, he told voters on Tuesday that watching movies, walking the streets or going to the hospital : “You have the impression that you are no longer in the country where you were known… that you are foreigners in your own country.

“We must return power to the people, take it back from the minorities who oppress the majority,” he added.

After a meteoric rise in opinion polls in recent weeks, with several polls predicting he would beat Le Pen in the second round of elections, his popularity has plummeted https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/giving- finger-french-presidential-hope-zemmour-sees-campaign-slump-2021-11-27.

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Zemmour has led Le Pen for some time in recent weeks, and the race for second is still neck and neck in some polls.

But at this point, most opinion polls predict Macron and Le Pen will face off in the second round next April, which Macron would likely win in a repeat of the 2017 election.

A Harris Interactive poll released on Tuesday – of people surveyed before Zemmour confirmed his widely anticipated candidacy – showed him down three to four percentage points to around 13% in voting intentions, highlighting the impact of various incidents recent.

One was at the weekend, when he was pictured giving a protester a middle finger following a tumultuous campaign shutdown in Marseille. He also sued gossip magazine Closer after claiming he was expecting a baby with his top political adviser.

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Polls also show he shocked some voters with provocative comments Рsaying children should not be given foreign-sounding names to the claim that the French government of Philippe P̩tain, who collaborated with the Nazis during the World War II had protected the Jews. And he lost the support of some prominent supporters, according to French media.

“He imitates de Gaulle but he defends Pétain’s idea,” said Antoine Leaument, of the far-left France Insoumise party, of Zemmour’s candidacy video.

De Gaulle, the dominant figure in 20th century French history, led the nation’s resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. Zemmour’s video, in which he appeared speaking behind a huge microphone and in front of old books stacked on shelves, had allusions to De Gaulle’s wartime calls for resistance.

“Our opponent is Emmanuel Macron,” Sébastien Chenu of the Le Pen National Rally told BFM TV, trying to ignore Zemmour’s candidacy. “We don’t see him (Zemmour) bringing anything new.”

(Additional reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Peter Graff and Nick Macfie)

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