France’s “primary election” chooses Taubira as a candidate for the left

Nearly 400,000 French left-wing supporters chose former minister Christian Taubira as their candidate for the April presidential election after voting in Sunday’s online “primary”, but the process was rejected by rival candidates and left the left in disarray as it tried to prevent Emmanuel Macron from winning a second term.

The vote, in which participants rated the seven candidates from “not good enough” to “very good”, brought Taubira a clear victory, with 67% of voters at least rating it as “good”.

Yannick Jado of the Greens and Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far-left La France Insoumise party took second and third place, while Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist Party’s candidate for mayor of Paris, was fifth. However, all three rejected the primary and promised to continue their own campaigns.

Taubira, a former justice minister in Francois Hollande’s socialist government and an elected member of the National Assembly from French Guiana in South America for nearly two decades, immediately called for unity.

“We want a united left, a strong left,” she told supporters in Paris. “We have a good road ahead of us. . . We have no right to give up. “

The French left has been in a tough time since Macron, Hollande’s former finance minister, rocked the country’s politics with his “neither right nor left” campaign, which won him the presidency in 2017.

Recent opinion polls show that Macron, who is expected to run for re-election but has not yet declared it, is leading with about 25 per cent of the intention to vote in the first round, followed by three far-right and right-wing candidates: Marin Le Pen, Eric Zemmour and Valerie Pecres.

Several rivals on the left are also vying for the presidency, prompting primary election organizers to garner support for a single candidate. In opinion polls, Melenchon is currently the most popular of the left, with about 10 percent of the vote, followed by Jado and Hidalgo.

Communist Party leader Fabien Russell is also right, as is Natalie Artaud of the Labor Struggle Party and Philippe Putou of the New Anti-Capitalist Party.

Taubira, who won 2.3% of the vote in the first round when she ran for president in 2002, said on Sunday that she would call on her left-wing rivals to unite around her, although she understood their reluctance. But Melenchon has already called the primary a “farce,” and others have said they will ignore it.

The Conservative party Les RĂ©publicains was also shaken by Macron’s victory in 2017, but the primary election in December chose PĂ©cresse as the sole candidate and so far her defeated former rivals, including Michel Barnier, the former Brexit negotiator, have given her support and joined. her campaign.

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