France’s former justice minister Christiane Taubira on Saturday launched her bid to unify the floundering French left and challenge President Emmanuel Macron in April presidential elections, but she faces a slew of competing candidates reluctant to cede the limelight.
« I’m committing myself here before you because I share your aspiration for another kind of government, » Taubira told supporters in Lyon at the official launch of her campaign.
Taubira, the justice minister in the 2012 to 2017 administration of Socialist President François Hollande, blasted « top-down power and absence of social dialogue » under Macron and promised to fight for higher wages, better conditions for school pupils and students as well as the health service and environmental protection.
Taubira, 69, was born in the French South American territory of Guiana where she served as an MP. She is admired on the left after fighting for a law recognizing the slave trade as a crime against humanity, and for guiding same sex marriage onto the statute books in 2013 as justice minister.
« We will do all of this together because that’s what we’re capable of, » she told a cheering crowd brandishing signs reading, « With Taubira ».But she risks becoming just one among six candidates scrambling for votes among the roughly 30 percent of the electorate that leans left.