Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen make the cut for first round of French presidential election

French dueling far-right presidential candidates Eric Zemmour, left, and Marine Le Pen shake hands prior to deliver a speech during a political meeting with the French Employers' association (MEDEF) at the Station F startup campus, in Paris, France, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. The two-round presidential election will take place on April 10 and 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Despite fears that neither conservative candidate would be eligible to run in the French presidential election, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour have obtained the number of signatures required to confirm their candidacies.

According to a summary released by the Constitutional Council on Tuesday, both individuals have now surpassed the 500 endorsements of political nominations from mayors, councilors and other elected representatives to be eligible to run for president, with the council revealing Zemmour had gathered 620 signatures, and Le Pen 503 signatures respectively.

The nominations needed to be mailed to the Constitutional Council by no later than Friday afternoon, when the council will announce the list of official candidates for the first round of the presidential election on April 10.

Democracy-busting process

Remix News previously reported how Le Pen had canceled all public appearances and suspended her campaign only a week ago after struggling with the nominations, a democracy-busting electoral system that places anti-establishment candidates at a significant disadvantage.

However, the National Rally president has now made the cut, and Le Pen took to social media to express her gratitude for the support. “Thanks to elected representatives for supporting democracy and allowing millions of French people to vote as they believe,” Le Pen wrote on Twitter.

Valérie Pécresse, the presidential candidate of the center-right Republican party, has the most signatures with 2,457, followed by the incumbent Emmanuel Macron with 1,785, who has still not officially announced his candidacy for the presidency. Socialist Anne Hidalgo gathered 1,318 votes, and radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon; Greens candidate Yannick Jadot; and communist Fabien Roussel also all made the cut.

If the first round of the presidential election were held now, Emmanuel Macron would be in the lead with 26 to 28 percent of the vote, according to national polling.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, support for the current head of state has risen. He is followed by Marine Le Pen, who would obtain 16 percent. In third place is right-wing publicist Éric Zemmour is third with 13-14 percent, while Valérie Pécresse slipped back to 11-12 percent. Polls also indicate that Emmanuel Macron would beat all of his challengers in the second round of the election.

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