Macron, who has just been campaigning, is leading the French presidential election

Paris – tired look. Don’t shave. Wearing jeans and a hoodie. As he is running for re-election next month, French President Emmanuel Macron has published unusual pictures of working nights and weekends at the Elysee Palace, where he spends most of his time concentrating on the war in Ukraine – avoiding traditional propaganda.

If this is a campaign strategy, it seems to be paying off, as the race for the presidency strengthens its position and makes it harder for other contestants to challenge it.

Macron was criticized by other candidates for refusing to take part in any television debates before the first round scheduled for April 10.

He promised to answer long reporters’ questions at a news conference on Thursday afternoon – an attempt to show that he is not avoiding difficult issues, his team said.

The Center is expected to unveil its proposal for the next five years, including a controversial pension reform to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.

A government official involved in Macron’s campaign said the president “wants to respond to criticism. He will run a full-fledged campaign in the coming days.”

Although he has officially announced that he is running for a second term at the beginning of the month, Macron has not yet held a rally.

In recent days, he has been pushing for a ceasefire in phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has spoken almost daily with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky.

Last week, he convened EU leaders at the Versailles Palace, west of Paris, to discuss sanctions against Russia. France holds the rotating presidency of the European Union Council, which gives Macron an important role in the composition of the 27 reaction blocs.

Next week, he is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden, who is in Brussels for a NATO summit.

“Of course, the international situation is strengthening his position,” said Bernard Sananes, president of the Pole Institute Elab.

“This suggests that Macron was elected in 2017 on the promise of renewal (politics) and wants to be elected on the promise of Macron (experience) in 2022,” he said in an interview with the French newspaper L’Opinion. The poll shows most French people, whether they want to vote for him or not, consider that he is working, he insisted.

Other key rivals include the far-right candidate, Eric Jemmur, the far-left, Jean-Luc Melenchon, and the conservative rival, Valerie Pekresi.

Opponents have accused Macron of focusing on the situation in Ukraine to avoid talking about domestic issues that could be more complicated for him.

Le Pen said Macron was “using the war in Ukraine to intimidate the French people, because he thinks intimidation can benefit him.”

“When there is a war, there is a reflection of being legitimate,” Pecres said. “People think: a captain is leading the operation … We should not be afraid to change captains on April 11,” he added.

Lawyers for Macron argue that the situation in Ukraine involves key internal issues that are being completely disputed in the campaign, such as energy and defense policy.

Political historian Jean Garrigas has emphasized the effect of “unification” around the head of state in war-related situations. He recalls that the same effect was noticeable when Macron’s predecessor, Franোয়াois Hollande, launched a military operation in Mali to oust Islamic extremists from power.

Earlier, some of France’s greatest personalities had proved their leadership in war situations – from Napoleon to Charles de Gaulle. “French public opinion is deeply rooted in that history,” Garrigas told the AP.

Therefore, “we see that Macron’s opponents have no experience equivalent to a presidential ceremony, even as a key minister, and they are indeed in a state of inferiority,” he noted.

Pollsters say Macron’s biggest challenge is to have fewer voters in the front-runners, and sympathizers will not go to the polls because they think he will win, and those who are angry at his policy will rally more.

Macron himself acknowledged the risks in a behind-the-scenes video posted on his campaign’s YouTube channel. “That’s what I’m going to say to the French, and to my supporters: if they think it’s done, we’re going to lose,” he said.

Leave a Comment