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2022 FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Today in France: The latest news from the 2022 French presidential election

Each weekday, our early morning roundup 'Today in France' takes a look at the latest news, events and gossip from the campaign trail - here's what is happening on Thursday.

Today in France: The latest news from the 2022 French presidential election
Emmanuel Macron will unveil his election manifesto today. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

Macron event

If you have always dreamed of seeing Emmanuel Macron in the flesh, registration is now open for this first big campaign event. Given the ‘limited’ campaign that he is running, it could be the only open-registration event of the 2022 election. Full details here.

He will unveil his manifesto at 3pm today in a Q&A event with journalists in the Paris suburb of Aubervillers.

Enfariné

Valérie Pécresse on Thursday was the victim of a campaign incident in which pink powder was thrown over her as she finished a speech to the association of small businesses.

The French language has a word – enfariné – to describe having flour (farine) thrown over you. As this powder was pink, we’re not sure that it strictly qualifies as enfariné, but it’s the second throwing incident of the campaign so far after Eric Zemmour had an egg thrown at him as he visited the south-west town of Moissac. 

Book 

Speaking of Pécresse, her book is out today. Le temps est venu (the time has come) lays out her vision to “repair . . . restore France to face its destiny”. As far as we know there are no plot twists or sex scenes.

Immigration

In possibly bad news for Eric Zemmour (whose answer to everything is cutting immigration) a new poll commissioned by France Télévisions shows that 7 in 10 French people do not think that immigration is the main cause of the country’s problems.

Sound of silence

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy has not yet endorsed Pécresse, the candidate of his former party, and his silence is beginning to set tongues wagging, with speculation that he will instead endorse Emmanuel Macron. 

The Castex plan

Prime minister Jean Castex on Wednesday unveiled the government’s plan for protecting French consumers and businesses from the effects of price rises – here’s what it involves.

Candidates’ trips

Emmanuel Macron has already announced that he will be in the south-west town of Pau on Friday, where he will meet with readers of local newspapers Sud-Ouest and La République des Pyrénées.

On Thursday Jean-Luc Mélenchon lays out his “plan of action’ – while the other candidates are contenting themselves with manifestos of the policies they will enact if elected, Mélenchon is laying out a plan to create a whole new system of government in France – a 6th Republic.  

Meanwhile Nathalie Arthauld is in Toulouse, Valérie Pécresse in Nimes and Yannick Jadot at Université Paris-Dauphine.

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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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