Politics

Macron ‘furious’ as own minister fails to confirm backing him for 2022 presidential bid

EU must 'rebuild joint security agenda' says Macron

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The French President, who ran as an independent in 2017 after resigning as a minister in the previous Socialist government, promised that as president he would be “neither of the left nor the right”. Emmanuel Macron’s allies say he is likely to campaign on a centre-right platform and law-and-order issues to counter Marine Le Pen’s attacks on immigration, terrorism and waves of sometimes violent protests that have unsettled conservatives voters. But an unnamed minister has detailed problems between the President and his minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili.

An unnamed minister told Le Monde: “The problem is that she gives the impression of always wanting to put her convictions before government solidarity.”

A member of the French National Assembly, Jean-Baptiste Moreau, has said there is a lack of “loyalty” from Barbara Pompili which reportedly have made Emmanuel Macron furious.

According to the daily, the Ecological Transition Minister allegedly “outraged” the French President by reluctantly saying she would support him in 2022.

It comes as Mr Macron is expected to beat far-right leader Marine Le Pen with a much smaller margin than in 2017 if the two fought a runoff in the next presidential election in May 2022, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

President Macron and Ms Le Pen would easily qualify for the runoff after picking up about 25 percent each in the first round scheduled for April 2022, far ahead of other rivals. Macron would go on to defeat Le Pen with 53 percent of the votes versus 47 percent, according to a Harris Interactive poll published by L’Opinion newspaper.

In the last presidential election, Mr Macron defeated his opponent with 66% of the vote, with most mainstream politicians from the left and the right urging voters to rally behind him to prevent the far right from gaining power.

The smaller margin 14 months before the election is a sign that Macron will struggle to attract left-leaning voters, after many were disappointed by his pro-business economic reforms and off-the-cuff remarks seen as condescending to the poor.

One minister said: “Centre-left voters are disappointed, that’s for sure.

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“It’s a concern for us and we need to think about how we talk to this part of the electorate.”

President Macron’s wife, Brigitte, has said re-election is “not his immediate concern”.

The French President has not spoken to his wife, Brigitte, about whether he will run again in the 2022 election.

Mr Macron began his term in 2017 but numerous protests have threatened his chances of being reinstated.

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Asked whether the president plans to run again, Mrs Macron told TF1 last month: “I can guarantee you this is not his immediate concern.

“Having said that, he doesn’t talk to me about it.

“We speak of the virus, we speak of the international situation.

“At the moment, his obsession and he did say it’s an obsession, is to take out France at its best from this current situation.”

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