Icon of French left Taubira joins crowded presidential campaign

LYON, France (AP) – A progressive icon from the South American territory of French Guiana on Saturday participated in the race …

LYON, France (AP) – A progressive icon from South American territory French Guiana took part in the race for France’s presidential election in April on Saturday, promising to push back against the “discourse on hatred” that has tarnished the campaign and seeks to unite France’s long broken left wing .

Christine Taubira has only marginal support in the polls, but is admired by many for her work for social justice and for defending a French law that recognizes the slave trade as a crime against humanity. She last ran in the 2002 presidential election, the first black woman to do so in France, receiving only 2.3% of the vote.

“I want to play my part against … the hate speech and confront new challenges together,” she said as she declared her candidacy for supporters in the city of Lyon. “I hear the anger of discrimination.”

Taubira, a former justice minister and former member of the European Parliament, promises, among other things, 800 euros ($ 913) a month to all young people for five years, an increase in the minimum wage and zero taxes on organic goods.

France’s presidential campaign ahead of the April 10 vote has been largely dominated by two far-right figures: populist expert Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen, second in the last vote in 2017, which has pushed immigration and security high. agenda.

Zemmour faces a verdict Monday in a lawsuit in which he is accused of inciting racial hatred to call underage migrants thieves, murderers and rapists.

French President Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, is generally expected to run for re-election, and opinion polls suggest he is currently a frontrunner, although many voters are still undecided.

Taubira wants the once powerful French left to merge. But with several left-leaning presidential candidates already running, her candidacy could shatter it further.

Other presidential candidates include far-left zealot Jean-Luc Melenchon, socialist Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, Green Party candidate Yannick Jadot and Conservative Republican candidate Valérie Pécresse.

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