Le Pen, Hidalgo in race to be first woman President of France

French women politicians Le Pen and Hidalgo throw in their bid to be President of France.

Two French female politicians have announced their bids to become the first woman President of France. Marine Le Pen and Anne Hidalgo beain the race on Sunday in the run up to the French Presidential Election scheduled for 2022.

However, as of now, President Emmanuel Macron has not made any bid, but he is widely expected to seek re-election. Le Pen and Hidalgo are joining a list of challengers to centrist Macron in a battle that includes many potential right-wing candidates.

It is right vs left between Anne Hidalgo and Le Pen

Anne Hidalgo launched her presidential campaign in the northwestern city of Rouen, run by socialists. The 62-year-old Paris mayor is a favorite to win the Socialist Party nomination.

Invoking her roots, Hidalgo said, “I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had.” She was born to Spanish immigrants who fled Spain during Francisco Franco’s rule in search of freedom. In 2014, she became the first woman to run the French capital. After President Macron’s 2017 redrawing of the political landscape, Anne is one of the few left-wing politicians left relatively unscathed.

Anne announcing her presidential candidature

(Translation of Tweet: Humbly, aware of the gravity of this moment, and to make our hopes the reality of our lives, I decided to be a candidate for the presidency of the French Republic.)

According to a poll analysis, Hidalgo might gather around 8% of voter support in the first round scheduled for April.

Announcing her bid for the top post, she attacked Macron for his failure in addressing France’s ecological emergencies. Promising a greener economy, she assured people that re-industrialization in old manufacturing hubs, improved education, and putting citizens ahead of the EU would be her priorities.

Her works to improve the ecology of France have won hearts, but she remains popular only within the city limits. The Paris Olympics had earlier boosted her image. But to win the polls, she first needs to unite the fragmented left front.

The fragmented Left Front

As per norms, the party members will choose the presidential candidate. Till now, former agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll is the only formidable opponent Hidalgo has.

But, the Left’s deep division was visible when former economy minister of Greens Arnaud Montebourg had announced his independent presidential candidature, earlier this month. Another two far-left leaders have also thrown in their candidatures. According to the poll analysts, Left unity would be imperative if they are to reach the second round. 

Far-Right Candidate Marine Le Pen

National Rally’s Marine Le Pen has also launched her campaign for the presidential election with expected moves. The dark blue color, a trademark of Le Pen’s wardrobe has made a pass for a lighter tone to paint their vision and show them less partisan.

Marine Le Pen launched her campaign logo

(Translation of the Tweet: Here is our campaign logo for the #Présidentielle2022 and our website http://mlafrance.fr! Feel free to share it with the hashtag #MLaFrance)

Marine Le Pen launched her campaign from the southern city of Frejus with a pledge of upholding ‘French liberty’. She promised to be tough on French parts that are Talibanized. The promise was in line with the hardline rightwinger’s message, which according to critics, have vilified Muslims. It hinted at radical Islamists living in French territory.

Meanwhile, analysts have predicted the presidential fight will be between Macron and Marine Le Pen like it was seen during the 2017 elections.

The 2017 French Election

The French presidential election in 2017 was held on 23rd April and 7th May. The runoff was held between Macron and Marine as no candidate won a majority in the first round. Macron won the runoff with a decisive margin.

Then incumbent President Hollande of the Socialist party decided not to run for the second term. The decision taken was based on low approval ratings.

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