Christiane Taubira, who served as justice minister in France’s last Socialist goverment, formally announced her intention to run for president.
“I am a candidate,” Taubira said during a speech in Lyon on Saturday. “I have been meeting with the French, with you, in your daily lives. We must reinvigorate our democracy.”
President Emmanuel Macron is the front-runner for April’s elections, and until recently polls suggested he’d most likely face nationalist leader Marine Le Pen or far-right pundit Eric Zemmour in the second round.
Those expectations shifted after the center-right Republican Party nominated Valerie Pecresse, a former budget minister who now heads the Paris region, as its candidate. Pecresse has edged ahead of Le Pen in some surveys.
Macron 26.5%, Pecresse 17%, Le Pen 16.5%: Ifop Election Poll
Taubira, who’ll turn 70 in February, suggested in December that she planned to run, saying she aimed to unite the French left behind her.
The country’s left wing already has a handful of candidates, from the socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo to the green leader Yannick Jadot and the far-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon.
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