Perspective of Presidential Election in France

2022/04/09 | Note, political, top news

Strategic Council Online – Interview: Having commented on the upcoming presidential election in France, the expert of the European issues referred to the greater chance of Emmanuel Macron to win the election for the second time. He said:” on the eve of holding the first round of French presidential election, normally the past records of presidential candidates will be the most important issue in the campaign”.

Morteza Makki in an interview with the site of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations commented on the economic and political status of French society and compared it with its five years ago when Macron, as the youngest president of the fifth presidential term of the country took power. He said:” perhaps it can be said that within the period, there was no serious change in economic and political status of France, and France is still suffering from the same problems and difficulties that the people suffered from five years ago”.

Having referred to the point that Macron took office with slogans on economic reforms and higher economic growth rate in France, he said:” economic and social gap in French society within the past decade was as important as the Achilles Heel of the former French presidents and it was an important factor for single term presidents in office during Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande”.

According to the expert, it was conceived that in view of his failure to practically deliver his promises, Macron would also be a single term president in French society. But the continuous chaos of political alignment among French political parties within the past five years has caused Macron to be the most serious presidential candidate in the upcoming election”.

As an example of chaos among political parties in the past five years, the expert of the European issues referred to marginalization of left parties as an example and continued:” the left fraction has practically lost its social base among the middle and the poor classes of French society”.

Makki emphasized:” among the important and pivotal issues in the charter of left parties are social justice and narrowing the social and economic gaps in France. But in practice, any leftist president and his cabinet who took office in the last two decades in France, had to decrease welfare programs and to proceed with competitive economic policy aimed at reducing the budget deficit and public debts which caused France, like other European countries, sink into financial crisis since 2008. As the most important program to reduce the budget deficit, the reduction of public expenditures was taken into consideration”.

On the status of center right wing, he also said:” Although they are in a better position than the left wing, but these parties are also facing serious challenges and these very challenges have made a part of social base of the center right wing parties incline to far right wing parties”. According to Makki, such issues caused them lose their previous position.

Having reviewed the status of central right and left political parties and their effect on Macron’s position, the expert of European issues explained:” the status of these parties caused a personality like Macron that represented a central wing, open his way to both Elysee and could win the majority of seats of the French National Assembly in 2017. In the past five years, central right and left parties did not manage to exploit Macron as well as his government’s weak points from political and publicity points of view to improve their political conditions”.

Makki believes that despite Macron’s failure to deliver his promises, there were other factors that caused him maintain his status at political scene of France.

He explained:” Coronavirus and crisis in Ukraine were among internal and external factors that Macron utilized them properly and maintained his superiority over other presidential candidates. This is the case while the far right and center left parties did not show too much solidarity with Macron government’s program to control Corona pandemic, in a situation when the majority of the French population supported the measures taken by the government on fighting Corona and on public vaccination”.

According to the expert, far right parties and their prominent figures like Ms. Marin Le Pen and Eric Zemmour were enjoying a good public support on the political field of France until a few months ago, to the extent that it was perceived Eric Zemmour was to become the French version of Trump. He emphasized that Putin was the icon and the myth for personalities like Zemmour and Le Pen. Zemmour had once said in 2019 that France needs a powerful Putin. The advocacy and empathy of the far right fraction with Putin turned to become their Achilles Heels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that caused them lose a part of their supporting votes”.

Having referred to the certainty of the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the upcoming French presidential election, Makki ultimately said:” it does not seem that the reelection of Macron and his continued presence in Elysee would make any serious change in internal and external political spheres of the country”.

He continued:” whereas Macron was active under the shadow of Angela Merkel to direct and to lead the EU within the past five years, and in view of the essential political changes took place in Germany, Macron will, perhaps, enjoy a better position to influence the political and economic trends of Europe within the next five years”.

The expert explained:” in view of the changes in political and security attitudes of the EU following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one should wait for developments in political and security attitudes of the Union within the coming five years”.

He finally said:” prior to the event, Germany was hardly ready to increase its military expenditures to boost the military capabilities of the European Union. But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany has been placed in an unwanted situation and has no option but to strengthen military cooperation among the European countries to confront with security threats against Europe. The change of attitudes will make Germany and France to become more motivated and serious to follow autonomous security arrangements and meanwhile to follow close cooperation with NATO”.

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