Macron presidenziali

Emmanuel Macron, the “non-candidate” – The Post

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The first round of presidential elections will be held in France on 10 April, in about a month. Already complicated by the health crisis linked to the coronavirus, in the last two weeks the election campaign has been overwhelmed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its possible repercussions in Europe. The French newspapers speak of a “ghost campaignWhich seems to be over before it has even begun, and elections “Special”, “strange” and “unprecedented”in which Emmanuel Macron occupies a “unique position,” he says Le Monde: he is the main candidate, favored in all the polls, he is the president of the French Republic and France is also the country that has assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, which gives Macron himself additional responsibilities and possibilities of visibility and action.

For this the presidential elections in April are unprecedented: for the first time since the Fifth Republic began in France, therefore from the end of the 1950s, an election which by its nature is an internal consultation, which is measured on domestic political issues, and which generally creates a sort of temporary bubble that folds the country back on itself, is instead dominated by an external event and conditioned by a foreign country: “And this phenomenon, unprecedented for over half a century, is accompanied by considerable public concern for the ongoing military aggression Which has repercussions on the polls of the same elections.

The magnitude of the advantage attributed to Macron is itself unprecedented. All the latest research puts it between 25 percent (a figure that represents one in four voters of those who intend to vote) and 30.5 percent. Even taking into account the lower percentages, Macron still has more than 10 points clear of Marine Le Pen, of Rassemblement National (radical right), 15 over Valérie Pécresse, of Les Républicains (LR, right), the party once led by ‘ former president Nicolas Sarkozy, 17 on Éric Zemmour (far right), journalist and presenter recently convicted of hate speech, and 17 also on Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the radical left party France Insoumise.

Polls on the second round, to be held on April 24, also say that Macron would win: against Le Pen (with 57 percent against 43), against Pécresse (with 59 percent against 41) and against Zemmour (with 65 percent versus 35).

In general, in the debate for the presidential elections, there are no comparisons between the twelve candidates on all the great, more classic and traditional issues of domestic politics: deficit and purchasing power, employment and industrial policy, security and immigration, energy and ecology, school and health. Instead, new issues have entered: military power, energy sovereignty, the role of the European Union.

In this context, Macron entered with a great advantage: that of not having to make the balance of his previous mandate central to the discussion and that of having been able to transform his capacity into a fundamental criterion for the future choice of voters and electricians. and his ability as president to address the ongoing severe crisis.

Macron is taking advantage of this advantage, for which he is not in fact responsible: “Not out of tactics, but out of duty,” they assure his party.

According to the French newspapers, Macron wanted to make his official re-nomination for the presidential elections “a non-event”. L’he announced with a letter published in the newspapers last March 3 in which he immediately made it clear that he could not conduct the electoral campaign as he would have liked “because of the context”. “The candidate must be able to present his project to the country, but the president must also continue to do his work,” he said in a party video released on March 4. And again: “He will be a candidate only when his mandate as President of the Republic allows him,” said a councilor of the Elysée.

Macron has not agreed to participate in public discussions with the other presidential candidates, his diplomatic activity allows him to occupy a lot of space without any contradictions and to minimize the issues that, as a candidate, should be at the center of his speeches and his replies. In all this, there are those who see a very specific design by the president: “Everything is built to numb public opinion, to avoid the confrontation of ideas and projects,” said Marine Le Pen. “We can clearly see the strategy of the non-candidate who tries to hide his budget and cynically take refuge behind the international crisis,” explained Éric Ciotti, of Les Républicains, in turn.

Macron’s electoral campaign is organized on a daily basis: one meeting has already been canceled, another postponed and for now, his team said, “two or three rallies” and a few trips are planned, to minimize the chances to find themselves on the other side of France if events should precipitate in Ukraine.

In this situation, Macron’s supporters were invited to play a greater role than expected: activists were asked to distribute about 2.5 million leaflets over the next weekend and Macron himself invited them to mobilize “in every village, in every city “, because” the international context, marked by the war in Europe “will not allow him to commit himself personally. “Your commitment is therefore precious to carry out our project,” he said. It remains to be seen what the project is, comments Le Mondebecause for now no proposed reform has been clearly presented by the outgoing president.

The conflict in Ukraine has weakened the other candidates, even as each and every one of them tries to exploit the situation to their own advantage.

Valérie Pécresse, for example, is trying to regain ground on the far right: “With this war in Ukraine, the masks have dropped,” she said a few days ago, targeting candidates “who in the past have sworn allegiance to Vladimir Putin” , namely Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen. And it is true that Le Pen and Zemmour are now present in the public debate not so much to present their projects but to justify their past passion for Vladimir Putin. The conflict then showed new fractures within the far right, in particular on the reception of refugees. Le Pen is in favor, Zemmour suggested that Poland should instead take this responsibility, losing points in the polls.

– Read also: The Republicans’ candidate for the French presidential elections is increasingly extreme

One of the risks that observers point out, however, is that the presidential elections turn into a tacit renewal of Macron or that the voters and the electricians take the outcome as something for granted. “The democratic risk represented by the Ukrainian crisis”, explained Brice Teinturier of the IPSOS research institute, “is that of avoiding an absolutely necessary debate on the great options among which to decide to govern France in the next five years”. Something that would not benefit anyone, not even Macron: “It would be more of a renewal than a re-election, with great potential weakness for the rest of his mandate.”

The risk associated with this situation is that of high abstention, a parameter that can be used, rightly or wrongly, to undermine the legitimacy of an election. Bruno Retailleau, president of the Les Républicains group in the Senate, summed it up with this formula: “A campaign without debate would basically lead to an elected president without a mandate.”