Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, has officially announced her candidacy for the 2022 French presidential election.
Hidalgo announced her candidacy in the city of Rouen in Normandy. “Because I know the problems of our time and want to give hope, I decided to run for president,” Hidalgo said. She says she wants to boost the green economy, re-industrialization in dwindling industrial areas, and improve education, among other things.
According to various media, it was a strategic choice for Hidalgo to choose Roan for her communication. She wants to show that she is not just a candidate for Parisians. Moreover, Rouen is a city committed to sustainability and greening, which are precisely the topics that are also important to Hidalgo.
Hidalgo, 62, has been mayor of Paris since 2014. She is known as a leftist, more specifically a green mayor. Under her leadership, for example, the speed limit in the capital was reduced to 30 kilometers per hour.
The last socialist president of France was François Hollande, who was very unpopular when he stepped down in 2017. After his presidency, the Socialist Party suffered a serious defeat in parliamentary elections. The left parties in France are also deeply divided. It is possible that Hidalgo, just like Hollande who is a member of the Socialist Party, can provide links between the left.
“Hidalgo is often portrayed as the hope of a divided left, one who can unite parties,” said France correspondent Eileen Huisman. “But if you look at the ballot boxes, it’s going to be tough.” According to recent opinion polls, conducted before Hidalgo’s announcement, it will attract about 8 percent of voters.
“A few months ago, there were still too many votes on the left to come up with a single candidate,” Huisman says. “But that does not seem to be happening yet. In addition to Hidalgo’s Socialist Party, other left-wing parties have also presented their candidate, or will do so in the internal candidate elections in the coming weeks,” he added.
Today, right-wing populist Marine Le Pen has also started her campaign. In Frejus, she said she wanted to defend “French freedom”. Incumbent President Emmanuel Macron has not yet officially announced his intention to run in the presidential election, but he is expected to participate.
The first round of presidential elections will be held on April 10 next year.
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