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It's an Obama-nation! French voters demand former US president take charge of France

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It's an Obama-nation! French voters demand former US president take charge of France
Photo: rcoustre/Twitter
09:57 CET+01:00
A campaign to make Barack Obama the president of France is gathering steam... but why?
If you think you've glimpsed campaign posters for "Obama 17" across Paris then you're not mistaken. 
 
The posters, which have been pasted to walls around Paris in recent days, are calling for a fresh face in the 2017 presidential race - that of the former president of the US. 
 
Under a picture of the former US President are the words "Oui, on peut", the French translation of Obama's "Yes we can" slogan. 
A group of friends behind the campaign have said that it started as a joke, but it seems the idea has stuck with some in France. 
 
Indeed, a campaign site linked to the posters has already gathered over 42,000 signatures supporting Obama. 
 
 
"We want to strike a blow by electing a foreign president to govern our beautiful country," the site says, adding that Obama "has the best CV in the world" for the job.
 
"And now is a time when France is about to give a massive vote to the extreme right, so we can give a lesson in democracy to the planet by electing a French president who is a foreigner."
 
Those behind the group are hoping for over a million signatures before May 15th. 
 
And while it's technically forbidden for someone who's not French to become the president of France, Obama certainly has a strong connection to the country.
During a visit to Paris a month after the November terror attacks in 2015, Obama had strong and kind words for France. 
 
After dining with French President François Hollande he declared that a few individuals could not wreck Paris.
 
"Sometimes after something like Paris, it's normal for people to despair," the then president said.
 
But "the demented actions of a handful of individuals can't tear down Paris," he declared. "The life, the people, the diversity, the joy will win every time.
 
"Our solidarity will win out. Vive la France."
 
If you're looking for stronger proof still that Obama's heart is in Paris, then look no further than the love lock he (apparently) left on the Pont des Arts during a visit with his wife back in 2009. 
 
While there's no proof that it was actually his love lock, the man who claims he found it says he is convinced. 
 
"When I found it I was truly taken aback, I was really astonished. I studied it, talked about it with some friends, then thought: 'Why not, why wouldn't the Obamas put a love lock in Paris'?" Phileas Le Cléateur told The Local earlier this month
 
Now all he needs to do is learn France's motto....
 
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