• Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:22 pm

Two women campaign to become France's 1st female president

  • Published at 11:42 am September 13th, 2021
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo Reuters
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo applauds as she attends a ceremony with the French Paralympic delegation, in front of the city hall in Paris, France on September 6, 2021 Reuters

However, the vote is expected to boil down to a duel between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, like the 2017 presidential election

Two French politicians kicked off their presidential campaigns Sunday, seeking to become France's first female leader in next year's spring election.

The far-right National Rally party's Marine Le Pen and Paris' Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo both launched their presidential platforms as widely expected moves, reports UNB citing AP.

They join a burgeoning list of challengers to centrist President Emmanuel Macron. This includes battles among multiple potential candidates on the right – including another female politician Valerie Pecresse – and among the Greens.

Hidalgo, 62, mayor of the French capital since 2014, is the favourite to win the Socialist Party nomination. She launched her candidacy in the northwestern city of Rouen.

Marine Le Pen, a member of parliament and leader of the French far-right National Rally party, delivers a speech during a debate on immigration at the National Assembly in Paris, France on October 7, 2019 | Reuters

"I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had," she said, invoking her roots. Hidalgo is the daughter of Spanish immigrants who fled their country in search of freedom amid dictator Francisco Franco's rule.

 Le Pen, the 53-year-old leader of France's far-right party, started her campaign in the southern city of Frejus with a pledge to defend French "liberty." In keeping with a hard-right message that critics say has vilified Muslim communities, Le Pen promised to be tough on "parts of France that have been Talibanised."

 She is also remaking her image for this election. Gone is the dark blue wardrobe that has been her trademark. She now will be donning light blue for the campaign, "to show our vision, less partisan, (reaching) higher," Le Pen's special councillor Philippe Olivier was quoted as saying by Le Figaro, the conservative daily.

 Macron, 43, has not yet announced his reelection bid but is expected to do so. Launching a candidacy in France is a necessary formality for each presidential election.

 The vote is expected to boil down to a duel between Le Pen and Macron, as it was during France's last presidential election in 2017.

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