Where is the French presidential election headed?

In two days, French voters will struggle to vote on the next French president, with no clarity enough to justify their choices.
Some believe that the political scene has become repetitive and useless after the results of the first round, and recall the image of the 2017 presidential election, which Emmanuel Macron won over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, and that the scene will be repeated , not only with its headlines, but also with its boring details.
From an analytical point of view, we can share part of this view. The French political scene became desert, after traditional political forces collapsed, and right-wing extremism became the strong competitor for business and financial candidates. It is a dangerous conclusion, according to the failure of the traditional right and left parties, to defeat the money lobby that dominates the various French elites, including the administrative, security and military elite.
In practice, however, there are variables that need to be taken into account. The context in which these elections take place is very different from the presidencies of 2017. On the one hand, there is the Russian war against Ukraine, which essentially reflects NATO’s conflict with Russia, and translate Europe’s crisis in dealing with this issue, but rather the crisis of the great powers within Europe, especially France and Germany, and then there on the other hand, the repercussions of the Corona pandemic, and the repercussions of the Russo-Ukrainian war on the daily existence of the French citizen, and on the third hand, the limitation of the options that would have been available if the election confrontation had been between Emmanuel Macron and Melenchon, as they were carrying out two completely opposite projects. , at least in the social, economic and even cultural and security backgrounds.
There are those who have taken these considerations into account and concluded the election campaign in favor of Macron beforehand, arguing that the racist discourse pursued by the extreme right can no longer attract than it did in the first round, and that the second round has its own peculiarities, as the choices narrow more, and the voter is forced to vote Not with his political convictions, but sometimes it becomes to agree with the logic of the least of two evils, or to blocking the way to greater damage.

The context in which these elections take place is very different from the 2017 presidencies, there is on the one hand the Russian war against Ukraine, which essentially reflects NATO’s conflict with Russia.

In the event that all these previous certainties cannot be fully trusted, the results of the first round showed that right-wing extremism exceeded the ceilings previously set for it, and came close to representing a third of the French , if we take into account its different sects, which is a very significant number. Read it in a historical context, that is, by referring to the numbers that the far right received in the previous presidential election.
Several analyzes read the evolution of the popularity of the extreme right in France, from the point of view of his renewed election tactics, and his regular involvement in discourse. Marine Le Pen worked hard on the discourse, and revolutionized much of her father’s exceed. positions, and now she continues in the same dynamic, trying to reject some kind of Penetration in the center or create anti-right-wing extremism.
Marine Le Pen’s weakness has always been the Muslims, and today she faces a dilemma that is difficult for her to get out of. The core of her political identity is based on the rejection of Muslims and immigrants, but she has more convinced as ever. that her arrival at the Elysee Palace cannot happen without making an effort to create Penetration into this scattered mass within French society (Muslims).
The change in her position on the veil is part of the tactics she uses to approach this bloc. She stated a few days ago that banning the veil in public places is no longer a top priority in the face of Islamic extremism is not, and acknowledges that the veil is a complex problem, and that it is not limited in thinking. And that the draft ban on the veil will be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration, as its deputy, Jordan Bardella, has tried to distinguish between the strategic and the tactical in this matter, and that the ban is the long-term goal, and that the immediate, is the need to distinguish between the veil that comes from the waves of immigration in the sixties and seventies, that comes out About the scope of the bill on the ban, and the veil, which today is a print card in the hands of Islamic militants have become and a violation of equality between men and women.
It is clear from these statements that there is a great deal of confusion in the position of the far-right, which reflects the internal discussions in the party, and the lack of a single opinion in this regard.While the radicals cling to the to ban headscarf in public. places, the centrist movement within the party goes to the idea of ​​progress, and that the ban is related to the long term, and that without it there are premises that require a degree of flexibility in the short and medium term, while the less extreme to the idea of ​​distinguishing between the traditional veil and the jihadist veil (Afghani) with reference to the possibility of coexisting with the contemporary veil that does not contradict the identity of France!
In fact, it is absolutely difficult for Muslims to trust these tactical changes in the discourse, but that does not mean at all that their vote will be guaranteed in favor of its rival. Emmanuel Macron, was not only directed against the radical trend, but rather targeted Muslims, and targeted houses of worship, and charitable activities that carried out houses of worship, and associations that ran Arabic language schools in France.
The assessment in this matter is that the votes of Muslims will not be decisive or influential in the election campaign, for three basic considerations: the first is that the most important decisive issues have gone beyond the identity issues, and the second is that the competition for Muslims among the candidates will give only a slight balance to the balance. Emmanuel Macron, given that their project together ultimately targets the interests of Muslims, with a difference in degree. And third, that the dispersion that defines the Muslim bloc in France will not help the ripening of a united position, and that the option of abstinence from voting will remain among the options before them, given their previous experience with the law against Islamic extremism , which directly affected their interests.
It is more likely in the analysis of the election campaign vectors that the crucial issue in the election process is related to the extent to which the political, economic and social conditions are invested, and the type of discourse that the competitors produce to answer the two. dilemmas of the daily pension for the French, and security at its three levels: energy security, food security and defense security.
Marine Le Pen’s party does not have enough experience in economic and social issues, and most of its rhetoric focuses on identity issues, the fight against immigration and Islamic extremism. Russia, its feasibility and the dangerous consequences that Europe alone bears. Germany has begun to drive this discourse, and has faced arrests, questioning the entire German democratic model, and France is not expected to be isolated from the emergence of these underlying trends that could jeopardize their investment and expression of expression by Marine Le Pen does not improve. especially as the repercussions of this are now affecting the direct interests of citizens, and the austerity discourse is no longer convincing in light of the presence of other options in French and European foreign policy towards Russia.
It is estimated that Emmanuel Macron will defeat Marine Le Pen on an economic and administrative level, and he will be able to win more votes among Muslims. on citizens, can have a significant impact on voters’ attitudes.
This does not mean at all that Marine Le Pen will win the election, but the figures she will get will undoubtedly raise many questions about the future of France, especially as Macron is the last remaining card today, in the face of a devastating political scene, in which traditional parties ended, and the rise of There is right-wing and left-wing extremism.

Moroccan writer and researcher

Leave a Comment