Divisions deepen among France’s left-wing candidates
PARIS (AP) — Presidential contenders from the fractured left wing of French politics insisted Monday that they will maintain their candidacies, amid deepening divisions that are likely to prevent them from doing well in April’s national election.
They spoke after an online vote organized by left-wing supporters designated former justice minister Christiane Taubira as a unity candidate.
The so-called “Popular Primary” was initially presented as a democratic effort meant to unite the left. But other candidates did not recognize the process and said they won’t comply with the result.
Calling for unity on Sunday evening, Taubira said she intends to speak to the others by phone to make an alliance offer.
A staunch feminist and a champion of minorities who is revered for championing a same-sex marriage bill into French law in 2013, Taubira joined the race earlier this month in hopes of convincing others to join forces behind her candidacy.
But soon after the announcement of the online vote’s result, the Greens’ candidate, Yannick Jadot, said he had nothing to say to her.
Far-left figure Jean-Luc Melenchon said “she put on the shoe that had been prepared for her. I’m not concerned; that’s their business,” while Socialist challenger and mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo insisted she will continue campaigning.
The presidential election is scheduled in two rounds on April 10 and 24.
None of the left-wing candidates appears in a position to reach the run-off at the moment.
Centrist President Emmanuel Macron is considered the front-runner according to polls. He is expected to formally confirm he will run for reelection in the coming weeks.
Polls expect candidates from the conservative party and the far-right to be Macron’s top challengers.