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EMMANUEL MACRON

France’s Macron ‘to kick off re-election bid in March’

French President Emmanuel Macron will launch his re-election bid on March 5th with an inaugural campaign rally in Marseille, three sources in his centrist La République en Marche (LREM) party told AFP on Wednesday.

France's Macron 'to kick off re-election bid in March'
France's President Emmanuel Macron. Photo by JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP

Macron is yet to formally declare his candidacy for the election, and has until March 4th to do so.

However it is widely thought to be extremely unlikely that he would not run, and opinion polls have steadily suggested that he is likely to come out on top in the first round of voting on April 10th.

He has already received the 500 signatures of support from elected officials which are required for all candidates to get onto the ballot paper, a system known as parrainage.

Sources have previously suggested that Macron, who has in recent days been preoccupied with the Ukraine crisis, would be likely to declare his candidacy in the week beginning February 28th.

French elections: 5 things you didn’t know about Emmanuel Macron

The final list of candidates who have made it onto the ballot paper will be published on March 8th, with formal campaigning – including rules on equal TV airtime – beginning six weeks before the first round of voting.

In reality, most candidates have been campaigning for months.

Voting takes place over two rounds on Sunday, April 10th and Sunday April 24th.

Timetable: The 2022 French presidential elections

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PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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