Christiane Taubira joins France’s presidential race in attempt to rally a divided left

France’s popular former justice minister Christiane Taubira on Saturday launched her attempt to unite the dizzying French left and challenge President Emmanuel Macron in the April presidential election, but she faces a number of rival candidates who are reluctant to give up the spotlight.

“I commit myself here before you because I share your aspirations for a different kind of government,” Taubira told supporters in Lyon at the official launch of her campaign.

Taubira, the justice minister in the administration of Socialist President François Hollande from 2012 to 2017, blew “top-down power and the absence of social dialogue” under Macron and promised to fight for higher wages, better conditions for schoolchildren and students, and health and environmental protection.

Taubira, 69, was born in the French South American territory of Guyana, where she served as a Member of Parliament. She is admired on the left after fighting for a law recognizing the slave trade as a crime against humanity, and for directing same-sex marriage to the 2013 statutes as justice minister.

“We will do all this together, because that’s what we can do,” she told a jubilant crowd waving signs reading “With Taubira.”

But she risks becoming just one of six candidates vying for votes among the roughly 30 percent of voters leaning to the left.

They range from the fire Jean-Luc Mélenchon – the highest ranked in opinion polls compiled by the JDD weekly by nearly 10 percent – to the Greens’ candidate Yannick Jadot and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo with 6.5 and 3.5 percent.

A survey in January gave Taubira support of about 4.5 percent.

“If she somehow manages to reconcile the reformist left behind, then her candidacy could become a game changer,” political analyst Thomas Guénolé told Jowharon Monday, while quickly warning: “Without agreement, however, she will be just another element in a “Balkanized” (and hopeless) left. “

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To the right, three challengers – the conservative Valerie Pécresse, the traditional right-wing extremist leader Marine Le Pen and the rebellious TV expert Éric Zemmour – have some prospects of taking on the incumbent Macron in the second round of elections.

Although he has not yet declared his candidacy, the president himself enjoys the highest marks in the first ballot, about one in four voters.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

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The former minister “wants to be the antidote to the fatigue of left-wing voters, who can no longer stand fragmentation,” said Christian Paul, a Taubira supporter and mayor of the small town of Lormes in central France.

One tool Taubira has invested in is a so-called “People’s Primary” of around 120,000 registered voters who will crown the favored left-wing candidate.

But while Taubira has promised to respect the results, other key candidates have refused to sign up for the process.

( Jowharwith AFP)

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