As the clock is ticking for France’s left party ahead uncertain election, heavyweights of the ruling Socialist Party have been looking to the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron to build momentum enough to dash the far-rights’ hope to occupy the Elysee Palace over the next five years.
Earlier on Wednesday, Bertrand Delanoe, a Socialist veteran and former Paris mayor, announced support to the centrist presidential contender, who is defending “reformist, European, realistic and socialist convictions.”
“I think we must all ask ourselves the question of our vote in the first round to avoid the disaster in the second,” Delanoe said, referring to the risk of far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s victory.
“Benoit Hamon’s difficulty to gather the left, make me, after reading the program of Emmanuel Macron, think that it is necessary to give the maximum of votes in the first round to the candidate who can beat Marine Le Pen,” he told France inter radio.
Hamon, won the left primary in January to represent the party in this year’s presidential election. So far, he is seeking a boost to make an impact on the race to the Elysee Palace.
Speaking to Le Journal de Dimanche newspaper, Patrick Kanner, minister of urbanity, youth affairs and sport said backing Macron’s presidential bid “is an assumption.”
“(Voting Macron) is not topical but not excluded. If this decision is to be taken, it must be taken collectively,” he said.
“It is a race against the clock. Everything will be played within 15 days. The real question is Benoit (Hamon) able to gather? ” he added.
The country’s pollsters predicted Hamon trailing in fourth place while projected Macron to beat Le Pen in the decisive second round with a large majority.
Stephane Le Foll, government spokesman and a close ally to President Francois Hollande, suggested choosing the candidate who will be well placed to qualify for May run-off.
“I support the man who has been chosen (by the Socialists), but the moment comes when political responsibility with regard to what is at play, with regard to (far-right National Front party leader) Marine Le Pen and with regard also to the program of (conservative) Francois Fillon,” Le Foll told BFM news channel.
Campaigning for “desirable future” and to ” Make Frances’ heart beat,” Hamon proposed an universal basic which would be paid to every single French citizen aged 18 and over, regardless of whether they are employed or not.
If elected, he vowed to repeal the controversial labor reform which aim at soften job market rules and offer more flexibility to companies and block the use of 49-3 decree, a constitutional mechanism that helps the executive team to pass laws with lawmakers approval.
Unlike 2012, when President Hollande had managed to rally green and far-left parties behind him, the Socialist candidate is still struggling to rally a majority as few weeks were left before the election.
Meanwhile, Macron, a pro-business contender is proposing a multiform platform to appease voters of different political views.
“My approach, since the beginning, has been to bring together the left progressives, centre and right-wing and civil society; that’s what we are succeeding,” Macron said on France 2 television.
“In this election, no candidate can claim to govern, rule with a single party, none…” he added.
If elected, the former economy minister wants to raise taxes on consumption and wealthy pensioners. He also promised to boost the defense budget, hire 10,000 police officers and raise funding for schools.
Enjoying the status of frontrunner, the 39-year-old investment banker is promoting a “new growth model” based on a mix of spending cut and investment boost.
“Is it a rightwing program, is it a leftwing program? My response, it’s a program to make France enter the 21st century, make the country succeed, and give a place to everyone in society,” Macron said earlier this month. Enditem