French Pundit Eric Zemmour Poses With Gun, Echoing Populist Leaders
(Bloomberg) -- A far-right media pundit who talks about arming citizens and is cementing his position as a main contender for France’s upcoming presidential election demonstrated a love for guns at a trade fair in Paris.
Eric Zemmour on Wednesday visited the Milipol International Exhibition, which is promoted as a leading event for homeland security and safety.
At one stand, Zemmour picked up a rifle and jokily pointed it at a group of people crowded around him. “We’re not laughing any more,” he said, looking through the scope. “Move back!”
The images recalled populist leaders like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a former Army captain whose trademark gesture of support is a finger-gun sign that he once taught a toddler how to make at a public event.
The far-right Brazilian president has vowed to arm “good” people to tackle street crime, a pledge similar to Zemmour’s. Former U.S. President Donald Trump also embraced gun culture.
Zemmour hasn’t yet confirmed he intends to enter the crowded contest to unseat Emmanuel Macron, but as he promotes his latest book and takes parts in events like the one in Paris on Wednesday, he’s gaining momentum in surveys -- threatening to upset what many people assumed would be a repeat of the 2017 election between Macron and nationalist leader Marine Le Pen.
A Harris Interactive poll for Challenges magazine published on Wednesday showed Zemmour winning 17%-18% of votes in the first round of the ballot on April 10 and knocking out Le Pen from the race.
Macron would still come out first with 23%-25%, and would go on to beat Zemmour 57%-43% in the second-round run-off, the poll showed.The president’s approval rating rose in October.
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