Macron is not a candidate, but is already running for reelection

A full campaign team is with him, which travels all over France to meet voters. He gives speeches about his plans and visions for the country over the next years.

Macron is not a candidate, but is already running for reelection

Problem? Emmanuel Macron has not yet declared his candidacy for the April presidential election.

Critics claim he is unfairly using his taxpayer-funded presidential pulpit for campaigning while delaying his widely anticipated announcement as long as he can.

Macron's intentions are not a mystery, less than two months prior to the first round of voting on April 10. Macron stated last month that he had "the desire" for a second term but wanted to wait until the COVID-19 situation improves before making a decision. March 4th is the deadline for declaring candidacy.

Eric Zemmour, a far-right presidential candidate, accused Macron of using the pandemic argument in order to convince French voters to forget about France's decline.

"Is Emmanuel Macron using the crisis of health to campaign? Marine Le Pen, another far-right candidate, said that the answer was yes. France, like the U.S.A and most European countries has recently relaxed most virus restrictions because the spread of the disease is slowing.

Macron explained that he would first focus on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. He told reporters last week that he would "think about" declaring candidacy when he gets back from Kyiv and Moscow. He said, "All things will come in due time."

However, his recent travels through France have increasingly looked like campaign events.

Numerous journalists from both national and international media followed his visit to northern France this month, where he announced an additional 100million euros to boost the economy of a former mining region. They were eager to find out if he would adopt a campaigning tone.

A meeting was held with officials from the local area. Xavier Bertrand is a political rival of The Republicans and is currently campaigning for conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse.

"That visit is a candidate's, filled with lies and untruths, so close to the election This hypocrisy must end. After listening to Macron's plans, Bertrand stated that an electoral trip cannot be paid by the Republic.

Christian Jacob, the head of The Republicans' party, condemned "misuses of public money" and stated that he reported it to the National Commission on Elections Financing.

France has very strict rules regarding the financing of a presidential campaign. A presidential candidate can spend 16.8 million euros ($19.1million) on the first round. Candidates who are eligible for the second round may spend an additional 5.6 millions euros ($6.4 million). The French state reimburses candidates that received at least 5% of votes for half of their campaign expenses after the election.

Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative former president, announced his candidacy for a second term in 2012 just two months before the election. Later, the National Commission on Election Financing ruled that expenses he incurred to organize a rally for southern France months earlier were to be included as campaign costs even though he hadn't officially declared his candidacy.

Last year, Sarkozy was sentenced to one year in house arrest for illegally financing campaign financing. He appealed against the decision.

Macron's party launched a "campaign for the presidential majority" which is being distributed across the country by posters and leaflets. It promotes a website called "With You," but does not mention Macron. However, it invites users to sign up to a newsletter to keep up to date with "campaign news."

Recently, the Constitutional Council announced that Macron received 500 signatures from elected officials. This is required by French law in order to be allowed to run for the presidency. This rule is intended to limit the number candidates.

French radio and television broadcasters have been required to give "fair" exposure since Jan. 1. This is based on candidates' weights during the campaign. This rule applies to Macron as well, but its implementation is complicated because comments that are part of political debate must be counted. However, those that are attributed to the presidency role are not.

Sometimes the difference can seem subtle. Macron visited Belfort, an eastern French town, on Thursday to announce six new nuclear reactors. France's energy strategy will be decided by the president.

He also harshly criticised "those who claim we don't have nuclear (energy)", in reference to Greens and far-left candidate campaigns.

He asked, "Can you picture France 30 years from now with 40,000 windmills rather than 8,000?" "That's what the supporters of nuclear power phasing out are suggesting to the French today. It is not serious.

Rivals claimed that Macron, a proeuropean, uses France's six month presidency of the European Union to launch his campaign for reelection.


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