Macron postpones the announcement of his candidacy for a second presidential term, focusing his efforts on the Ukraine file

In light of his intensified efforts to reduce the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to postpone once again the announcement of his candidacy for the French presidential elections less than two weeks before the nominations close on the fourth of March, which is a right It worries many of its competitors.

Macron had linked his official candidacy announcement to two conditions, namely to overcome the “peak of the epidemic” and turn the page on “an international situation fraught with great dangers.”

And if France is beginning to record a decline in the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, Westerners fear that the escalation of battles for several days on the front line in separatist eastern Ukraine is a pretext that Russia intends to use to launch a massive attack on its pro-Western neighbor, at a time when Moscow has mobilized 150 A thousand soldiers on the border of Ukraine.

On Sunday, Macron held talks again with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a phone call, and with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, to discuss ways to avoid a major war in Europe.

And the French president's circles reported that he was determined to prove his adherence to the exercise of his presidential duties "until the last minute", and it is therefore expected to postpone the announcement of his candidacy until next week.

This position arouses strong resentment among his opponents. "I expect Emmanuel Macron to stop hiding and announce his candidacy," Jordan Bardella, head of the far-right National Rally party, told BFMTV.

Nevertheless, it seems that the president is reaping the fruits of his activity on the international scene, as an opinion poll conducted by the Ifop institute and its results were published on Sunday in the "Journal du Dimanche" newspaper, showed that 39% of the French are satisfied with his performance, an increase of two points within one month.

The Constitutional Council set Friday, March 4, as the last deadline for those wishing to run in the presidential race to submit the mandatory 500 signatures of elected officials and officially announce their candidacy.

If Macron, right-wing Republicans candidate Valerie Pecres and socialist Anne Hidalgo got the 500 signatures, other candidates openly express concerns in this regard.

"Today we start a general mobilization," the European candidate for the National Assembly, Thierry Mariani, said on Public Senat on Monday. "All delegates of the National Assembly are invited to make phone calls throughout the day."

Party leader Marine Le Pen, who is running for president for the third time, denounced Sunday a "terrible situation at the democratic level", while her far-right rival Eric Zemmour said it was "highly likely" that he would not collect the required signatures.

Thursday's latest census indicates that he collected only 291 signatures, and canceled an election trip to devote himself to this task.

At the other end of the political spectrum, former Justice Minister Christiane Tobira, who has collected only 86 signatures so far, criticized an "administrative body" that, in her opinion, raised "democratic questions."

Tobira, a respected left-wing figure, asserts that she has had "more than 600 promises to sign", but most of them have not been fulfilled.

The issue of collecting signatures is also raised for the radical left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has so far received only 370 signatures, despite having 10% of the vote's intentions.

But he received a surprising endorsement. David Lenar, the president of the Assembly of Mayors of France, the mayor of Cannes (south) and an outspoken supporter of Valérie Becresse, declared his support for Melenchon out of “civil concern” and “so that the demagogues could not pretend to be victims.”

And centrist Francois Bayrou, a close ally of Macron, warned Monday via the France 2 network of a "democratic tsunami if these candidates cannot stand" in the elections.

He announced that the Association "Our Democracy", a signature bank aimed at helping candidates who receive 10% of the vote's intentions, has collected the signatures of about eighty elected officials.

All opinion polls indicate that the outgoing president leads the race by a large margin, obtaining about 25% of the votes in the first round, scheduled for April 10, with an expected victory in the second round, scheduled for April 24, regardless of his opponent. Marine Le Pen comes in second, followed by Eric Zemmour and Valize Bekris in third place, with a narrow difference between them.

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