Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo Announces French Presidential Bid
08:55 GMT 12.09.2021 (Updated: 11:42 GMT 12.09.2021)
France will hold its next presidential election in April 2022; incumbent President Emmanuel Macron is facing a tough challenge from candidates from all over the political spectrum.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced her presidential bid on Sunday, adding that her goal is to "offer a future to all our children".
"I have decided to be a candidate for the presidency of the French Republic," Hidalgo announced from the city of Rouen.
The socialist mayor is among many contenders who are willing to take on Emmanuel Macron's job, as his approval rating has been dangling at some 40% or lower in recent months.
Marine Le Pen, the President of the National Rally (the former National Front), is also likely to take up the challenge.
Back in in 2017, Le Pen lost to Macron in the second round of the presidential election, with 34% against 66% claimed by the centrist candidate.
Who is Anne Hidalgo?
Anne Hidalgo, 62, is the first-ever woman to hold the office of Mayor of Paris.
Hidalgo, the daughter of Spanish immigrants, was elected to the post in 2014 and saw reelection in June 2020 with 52% of the vote.
The socialist politician made environmental issues and promises to make Paris' neighbourhoods more self-sufficient strong platforms of her mayorship campaign. However, some of her proposed policies have polarised the city. As such, Hidalgo vowed to keep the Paris Metro open 24/7 and urged to ban diesel motors in Paris, that left may city dwellers fuming.
During her mayorship, the city has witnessed massive Yellow Vest protests, the terror attacks of 2015, the tragic fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, and COVID-19 lockdowns. Nevertheless, it was during those years that Paris won the right to host the 2024 Olympic Games and held the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which gave a go to the Paris Climate Accords.
© REUTERS / STEPHANE DE SAKUTINPresident of the Paris Organising Committee of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Tony Estanguet (front L) and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (front R) carry the Olympic flag from the plane, marking the handover from Japan to the next Games in Paris 2024, as French athletes return from the Tokyo Olympic 2020 games at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris on August 9, 2021.
President of the Paris Organising Committee of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Tony Estanguet (front L) and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (front R) carry the Olympic flag from the plane, marking the handover from Japan to the next Games in Paris 2024, as French athletes return from the Tokyo Olympic 2020 games at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris on August 9, 2021.
© REUTERS / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
Hidalgo has yet to secure a nomination from the Socialist Party. According to a poll cited by the AFP, the mayor would gain only 7% to 9% of the vote across the country.
According to Hidalgo's speech in Rouen, her push for equality could already be traced through her upcoming presidential campaign: "
The Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes," Hidalgo said. "I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had."