Paris Socialist mayor Hidalgo to run for French president in 2022

Photo: AP

The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, on Sunday announced plans to run for president in next year's election, joining a growing list of challengers to centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron, AFP reported. Speaking in the northwestern city of Rouen, Hidalgo, who has been mayor of Paris since 2014 said: "I have decided to be a candidate for the presidency of the French Republic."

The 62-year-old daughter of Spanish immigrants who fled Francisco Franco's dictatorship is the hot favourite to win the nomination of the Socialist party. But the first female mayor of Paris will need to expand her profile nationally to become France's first woman president.

She enters the race as a polarising figure whose campaign to squeeze cars out of Paris and make the city greener has divided residents of the capital.

Hidalgo chose Rouen, which is also run by a Socialist, for her announcement to try to establish a foothold outside of Paris.

She credited her rise from humble beginnings in a housing estate in the southern city of Lyon -- her father was an electrician and her mother a seamstress -- as testament of the power of France to help children overcome "class prejudice".

Warning of growing inequality, she said: "the Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes". "I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had," she said.

She said one of her top priorities would be to transform France into a low-carbon economy.

Polls currently show Hidalgo would garner only seven to nine percent in the first round of voting for president in April if picked to represent the Socialists.

Macron has yet to announce a run for a second term but he is widely expected to do so.

The election is expected to come down to another duel between him and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, whom Macron defeated in 2017.

Minutes after Hidalgo's announcement, Le Pen kickstarted her campaign in the southern city of Frejus. For her third presidential bid the anti-immigration Le Pen, 53, has styled herself the guarantor of French "liberty". Le Pen vowed to crack down on "parts of France that have been Talibanised" -- a reference to the presence of radical Islamists in some high-rise housing estates.

Similar articles

  • Volcano erupts on Spanish Canary Island

    Volcano erupts on Spanish Canary Island

    A volcano erupted on Sunday on the La Palma Canary Island. As a result of the eruption in the Cumbre Vieja national park in the south of the island huge fountains of lava and clouds of smoke and ash were released. No fatalities have been reported so far.

    15
  • Vaccination surges as Italy makes it mandatory for workers

    Vaccination surges as Italy makes it mandatory for workers

    The bookings for Covid-19 vaccinations surged in Italy after the government made inoculation mandatory for all workers both in public and private sectors in some of the toughest measures adopted worldwide. The number of people booking appointments more than doubled on daily basis over the weekend, Reuters elaborated.

    34
  • Kaczynski: Primacy of EU laws ruins Poland’s sovereignty

    Kaczynski: Primacy of EU laws ruins Poland’s sovereignty

    Poland accused the EU of unacceptable interference in the country’s sovereignty. Warsaw further noted the EU was blackmailing Poland to pass primacy of the Union’s legislation over local laws by freezing massive funds envisaged to secure the restoration of the country from pandemic, Reuters elaborated. The ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in a letter quoted by state news agency that Warsaw will not bow under the pressure.

    72