Posted on November 30, 2021

Far-Right Figure Zemmour Announces Presidential Run To ‘Save’ France

Ingrid Melander, Reuters, November 30, 2021

Far-right French pundit Eric Zemmour announced his candidacy for president on Tuesday with a video in which, to ominous music and footage of street violence, he said he wanted to save France from decadence and minorities that “oppress the majority”.

A former journalist who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred, he is the top contender to challenge Marine Le Pen, leader of the more established far-right National Rally, for a place in a second round against President Emmanuel Macron.

His candidacy turns the April 2022election into a test of the endurance and limits of Europe’s far right, which surged in the last decade but shows signs of reaching a ceiling as it pushes against boundaries of acceptable speech. read more

“For a long time I was happy with the role of journalist … but I no longer trust that a politician will have the courage to save the country from the tragic fate that awaits it,” Zemmour, 63, said in a video posted on social media. “That’s why I have decided to stand in the presidential election.”

Zemmour’s hardline criticism of Islam and immigration has drawn support both from Le Pen’s voter base and from the mainstream conservative right, but has also alienated some voters that Le Pen had long sought to reassure.

As footage showed women with headscarves, Black men in the metro and CCTV footage of fights, he told voters on Tuesday that, watching movies, walking on the street or going to hospital: “You feel like you are no longer in the country you once knew … you are foreigners in your own country.”

“We must give back the power to the people, take it back from minorities that oppress the majority,” he added.