The socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo officially announced her candidacy for the 2022 presidential election. On Sunday in Rouen, she said : I want to offer a future to all our children” and “build a fairer France”, “We must reinvent our French model weakened by these multiple crises,” said the candidate, claiming to want to restore “respect” and unity of the country.
“The Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes,” Hidalgo told supporters gathered on the docks in Rouen, Normandy. She warned of growing inequalities, saying: “I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had.”
Hidalgo, 62, is the first female mayor of Paris and is best known for her campaign to reduce the number of cars in the French capital, increase the number of bike lanes and make the city greener. However, Hidalgo has a difficult task ahead. The Socialist party has been floundering since the one-term presidency of François Hollande, who ended up so unpopular he did not even seek a second mandate in 2017. Working-class voters have deserted the party, which some feared could disappear after its historically low score of 6% at the last presidential election in 2017.
Hidalgo, who has the backing of a new generation of younger Socialist mayors seeking to reinvent the party, has centred her campaign firmly on her story of “overcoming class prejudice” to win back voters. She cited her “humble” upbringing on a housing estate near Lyon in order to appeal to workers and those who have marched for more “social justice” in protest movements over the past two years, including the gilets jaunes (yellow vests).