Paris Region Head Pecresse Says She’s Running For President
(Bloomberg) -- Valerie Pecresse, the head of the Ile-de-France region that includes Paris, has announced that she is entering next year’s presidential race, joining a crowded field of hopefuls on the right.
“I am running for President of the Republic to restore French pride,” Pecresse told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview published on Thursday. “I want to put the country back in order.”
Pecresse says she’s ready to take part in the Republican primary -- which could be in the fall -- even though she left the party two years ago. Its leadership earlier this week agreed to back a single candidate in the 2022 race. Among contenders are Laurent Wauquiez, another popular regional president, and former Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
Xavier Bertrand, chief of the northern Hauts-de-France region, is running as an independent and has said he won’t take part in the primary, but hopes to win the Republican’s backing.
A survey taken before Pecresse announced her intentions gave Bertrand 18% of the votes in the first round of the election that starts on April 10, with far-right leader Marine Le Pen and incumbent President Emmanuel Macron both around 25%.
In the Figaro interview, Pecresse described Macron’s mandate as having achieved “very little,” saying she regretted that he postponed his controversial pension reform and didn’t work to reduce public deficits. She said she wants to “stop immigration as it is” and spoke at length about restoring “respect.”
Pecresse will appear later on Thursday on national television channel TF1.
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