French presidential election: Focus turns to tackling abstention as first round looms
05 April 2022 | 10:57 am
With the first round of voting in France's presidential election now only six days away, we explore latest the twists and turns of the campaign trail with Andrew Smith, a professor of contemporary French history at the University of Chichester. He unpicks incumbent Emmanuel Macron's rock star-style rally at the La Défense arena over the weekend, which aimed at reassuring undecided voters on both the centre left and centre right. We also discuss the chances of Macron's historic far-right rival Marine Le Pen, who's led a low-key campaign and could benefit from high abstention.
There have been scenes of jubilation in Mali after France said it would begin to pull its troops out of the West African country. France has helped battle jihadi groups for nine years — until relations with Mali's military leaders turned sour.
The eastern French town of Lunéville has played a key role in France's fashion history. It's the birthplace of Lunéville stitch embroidery, which features on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list. To teach it, there is only one person left: Aude. Her students come from all over the world to learn the techniques passed on to her by her grandmother. We also take you behind the scenes at Hermès, whose square silk scarves are made by a highly skilled team near the French city of Lyon.
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A new opinion poll shows support for Emmanuel Macron at its highest level yet in round one of France's April presidential election. The reason for this boost might also explain why the incumbent president has not yet declared his candidacy: his role in the Ukraine crisis. In this special edition of France 2022: The Campaign, we examine how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has completely upended the French presidential campaign.
"We are not at war with the Russian people; we don't want the Russian people to suffer." So says the head of the European Parliament's Security and Defence subcommittee Nathalie Loiseau, as the EU looks poised to impose fresh sanctions in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "It seems that Vladimir Putin is also at war with his own people," the top French MEP told FRANCE 24.
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The war in Ukraine may be keeping Emmanuel Macron off the campaign trail, but the benefit to the French president has been clear: for the first time, a poll over the weekend saw him getting more than 30 percent of votes in the first round. The conflict has given Macron an opportunity to demonstrate his leadership. Meanwhile, candidates from far-right Marine Le Pen to far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon have been stuck defending their past sympathies for Vladimir Putin and their calls to withdraw France from NATO. Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in contemporary history and politics at the University of Chichester, tells us "it’s going to be a strange campaign".
French presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour are holding duelling rallies on February 5, 2022. FRANCE 24's Clovis Casali reports.
Republican universalism is one of the founding principles of the French Republic. Put simply, it's the notion that the collective transcends individual differences like ethnicity or religion. But many see that definition as increasingly exclusionary, even arguing that the concept contributes to the very societal ills it's supposed to prevent. Mame-Fatou Niang, Associate Professor of Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, has co-authored an essay on the topic. She joined us for Perspective.
With the presidential election just around the corner, everyone is focused on the campaign. Today, FRANCE 24's Florence Villeminot take a closer look at the top prize: the presidency. There’s a reason everyone wants to be France's president: the role has a lot of power compared to the leaders of most other modern democracies, such as the US, Germany and the UK. In fact, critics say the French president is a kind of temporary modern-day monarch in the style of the ancient regimes.
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