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Paris (AFP) – Far-right critic Eric Zemmour will announce his candidacy for president, a member of his entourage told AFP on Monday, after recent opinion polls showed his popularity plummeting after a turbulent few weeks.
The source said that “a message to the French will be published on our social networks” around noon on Tuesday, before Zemmour is broadcast on TF1 television.
Several members of his inner circle started tweeting with the hashtag #Zemmourcandidat (Zemmourcandidat).
Intense election campaigns have left little doubt about Zemmour’s intention to run for the 2022 elections, and some opinion polls have indicated he could run into a second round against President Emmanuel Macron.
But tensions are rising in the Zemmour camp, with the latest polls suggesting that support for the far-right commentator is dwindling in favor of the far-right’s traditional brigade bearer, Marine Le Pen.
On Saturday, Zemmour gave his finger to a passerby while in the southern city of Marseille – responding to passersby by giving him the same gesture – in an exchange captured by an AFP photographer.
Zemmour, 63, gained fame as a commentator for his harsh attacks on Islam and immigration.
His first official campaign meeting is scheduled for Sunday morning in Paris – anti-fascists and unions have already pledged to stage a “Silence Zemmour” protest at 1pm (noon GMT) in the French capital.
There has been speculation that his candidacy could be announced in the coming days before Zemmour delivers a keynote speech in Paris on December 5.
Macron has yet to announce his candidacy, but it is widely expected to do so early next year.
The traditional right-wing Republicans are due to announce their candidate at a convention on December 4.
© 2021 AFP