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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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UKRAINE

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.

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