Paris Mayor Signals She Wants to Be Left-Wing Candidate in 2022

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she aims to rally left-wing allies to run against President Emmanuel Macron in the 2022 presidential election.

“I am laying the foundations of a movement that I want to gather people and make proposals to the French,” Hidalgo told Europe 1 radio Sunday.

Presidential elections are scheduled for April next year, and current polls show far-right candidate Marine Le Pen as chief rival to Macron. France also has regional elections coming up in June, although the government has warned they will only happen if the health context allows it.

While polls haven’t been encouraging so far for the Socialist mayor of Paris, with less than 10% of vote intentions in the first round of the election, a recent poll showed she could make it to the second round if she can rally other parties on the left and the Greens, who plan to run with their own candidate.

Amid criticism about his handling of the coronavirus crisis, Macron’s popularity rate fell 4 percentage points in March from a month earlier, with 37% of people saying they were satisfied with the president, according to an IFOP poll for French newspaper Journal du Dimanche. Macron hasn’t said he would run again, but his teams are already working on his re-election.

Paris and about a third of the country have been under a renewed lockdown since Saturday, with schools open and open-air activity encouraged, but some non-essential business closed. The complex rules have fueled confusion among citizens and brought complaints from owners of stores deemed non-essential.

Government Criticized

The head of business lobby Medef criticized the government Saturday for what he called the “persecution” of businesses forced to shut down. Hidalgo joined the chorus of criticism and slammed the government’s lack of transparency when it comes to handling the pandemic, with key choices made only by a handful of ministers during what are termed “defense cabinet meetings.”

Still, the popularity of Macron, who a year ago said France was “at war” with the virus, is still higher than his predecessors, Socialist Francois Hollande and right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy, at the same point in their mandates, according to the Ifop poll.

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