Who is dominating the election campaign in France?
France will elect a new president in (presumably) two rounds of voting on the 10th and 24th of April, respectively. Commentators discuss the fact that the incumbent president Emmanuel Macron appears to be already preparing for the second round and speculate on who will be pitted against whom in the run-off.
Everyone focused on the right
El Periódico de Catalunya laments that the rivalry between the far-right candidates Marie Le Pen and Éric Zemmour has dominated the election campaign so far:
“According to the historical leader of the far right, her rival wants a return to the Gallic village of Asterix, while she wants to help France recover its former glory. The problem is that the radical discourse between them is tainting the entire political agenda. ... It's too early to say whether they will cancel each other out, leaving the conservative candidate Valérie Pécresse standing against President Macron in the final round. In any case we can already see that they have cancelled out the left. ... A foretaste of what could happen all over Europe.”
President must not exploit his position
Lawyer Jonathan Frickert is annoyed that Emmanuel Macron has not yet officially announced his candidacy and is therefore not participating in debates with other candidates. He writes in Contrepoints:
“This refusal poses a real democratic and, shall we say, republican, problem because it does not give all candidates equal rights: on the one side is the monarch and on the other his challengers. Made strong by the fragmentation of his opponents, Emmanuel Macron is turning the first round of the presidential election into an opposition primary. And that is understandable from a tactical point of view. But running for office presupposes that one is no longer a representative of the state but a member of one camp facing the others.”
Choice between Macron and Pécresse
In the end those at the centre of the political spectrum will decide, Polityka comments:
“In the run-up to the presidential elections the French political landscape is in flux. The left is marginalised and in disarray and the far right is divided, with Marine Le Pen having to distance herself from the truly far-right Eric Zemmour. Zemmour himself is also struggling to win the support of the right wing of the conservative Les Républicains party. But in the end it will be the moderate, professional, liberal voters who will choose between Macron and Pécresse.”