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Emmanuel Macron announces bid for second term as French president

Polling to determine who will take the keys of the Elysee Palace takes place in April.

Image: PA

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron formally announced that he will run for a second term in April’s presidential election, ahead of which he is already leading in the polls.

In a “letter to the French” published on domestic media websites, Macron said: “I am seeking your trust again.

“I am a candidate to invent with you, faced with the century’s challenges, a French and European singular response.”

Macron, 44, had long indicated that he wanted to run in the election, scheduled to be held in two rounds on April 10 and April 24, without formally announcing it until now.

But his initial campaign plans have changed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the past weeks, the centrist president has dedicated most of his time to diplomatic talks with world leaders and coordination with European and other Western allies.

Polls suggest Macron is the frontrunner in the race.

Conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse and two far-right figures, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, are expected to be his main challengers.

Left-wing candidates run divided in the race, none of them appearing in a position to qualify for the run-off.

Christiane Taubira, a champion of minority groups, dropped out of the race this week because she had not managed to get enough support.

Henri Wallard, chairman of the French polling firm Ipsos, said that Macron’s candidacy is boosted by his being in office.

Wallard noted the 21 million viewers who watched Macron’s address to the nation this week centred on the war in Ukraine and its consequences.

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“That’s after he spoke nine times to the French during the Covid crisis.

“So he doesn’t play on the same team as the other candidates, because he is already in charge and dealing with a crisis,” Mr Wallard said.

Macron’s popularity in recent months has remained relatively stable, with an approval rating hovering around 40% depending on polling institutes, higher than his predecessors Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy had after nearly five years in office.

Even without a formal candidacy announcement, Macron was the first candidate to receive the legally required 500 endorsements from elected officials.

The rule is intended to limit the number of people running for president.

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