PARIS (AP) — France’s left is weakened and divided ahead of the presidential election, with at least five candidates ruling out alliances, and appears doomed in an election Sunday to choose its leader.
The so-called Popular Primary was organized by leftist militants to unite ranks ahead of the presidential elections that will be held in two rounds, one on April 10 and the other on April 24.
More than 460,000 people are registered to vote in the primaries, which will be held online, with results expected on Sunday afternoon. But they already seem headed for failure: the candidates say they won’t respect the results because they don’t respect the process.
At least five candidates, from leftists to far-leftists, have run for president, along with a few lesser-known ones. At the moment, neither seems to have enough support to reach a second round in the April elections.
President Emmanuel Macron, who has made no secret of his intention to run for re-election, is considered the favorite. Conservative candidate Valérie Pécresse and two far-right figures — Marine le Pen and Eric Zemmour — are Macron’s main rivals according to polls, with far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon in fifth place.
Melenchon — fiery rhetorically and notoriously short-tempered — refuses to forge an alliance with any other leftist. The 70-year-old politician, leader of the “Rebel France” party, has promised jobs for all, raising the minimum wage, lowering the retirement age to 60, and raising taxes on large corporations and wealthy individuals.