Socialist Hidalgo, bottom of the polls for Elíseo, proposes a primary on the left

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The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, JULIEN DE ROSA (AFP)

The mayor of Paris, the socialist Anne Hidalgo, turned his campaign for the presidential election next April in France on Wednesday. Hidalgo, low in the polls and without an option to opt for victory, proposed to his rivals from other left-wing parties to call a primary which will allow the designation of a single candidate.

“This fractured left, this left which despairs many of our fellow citizens must unite, must unite to govern,” Hidalgo said in an interview with the TF1 network television news. “We must organize a primary of this left arbitrated by our fellow citizens,” he added.

No left-wing candidate today has a chance to reach the second round of the elections, in which the two most voted candidates are ranked. They are Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the populist left of La Francia Insoumise; environmentalist Yannick Jadot; Hidalgo herself for the Socialist Party (PS); the communist Fabrice Roussel and the former socialist and sovereignist Arnaud Montebourg.

Hidalgo’s proposal can be understood as an act of realism given the realization that the left is already defeated in advance. But also as a desperate gesture of a campaign which, three months after its start, does not start.

Hidalgo fluctuated in the polls between 5 and 6%, a figure that does not exceed that obtained by the PS candidate for the 2017 presidential election, Benoît Hamon. The latest poll, from the Elabe institute, published on Tuesday, raised all the alarms by placing the town hall of Paris at 3%.

The unknown is to know if the rest of the candidates will take again the glove and will accept the primaries. Repeated attempts in recent months to create a unit application have failed. Among other reasons, due to distant reconciliations between candidates like Mélenchon, anti-capitalist and eurosceptic, and Hidalgo, candidate of a party of the system, favorable to the market economy and determining in the European construction.

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In an interview with the Public Senate Network on November 19, Hidalgo said: “I am not in favor of this type of primary. And he added: “I do not recognize myself in the offer represented by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. I do not fully recognize myself in the offer of Los Verdes which, from my point of view, does not sufficiently take into account the social question ”.

On Wednesday, on TF1, Hidalgo said that in the event that her rivals rejected the primaries, she would maintain the candidacy for Eliseo. And, if they end up partying, he has vowed to support the winner of the presidential race, whoever he is. “We will have to campaign for whoever wins,” he added.

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