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Who will win French election 2022?



Nicolas Sarkozy snubs centre-right hopeful in favour of Emmanuel Macron

France will vote for its new president in April in an election marked by division over the ongoing response to Covid-19, balancing the nation’s economy, tackling unemployment and questions over national identity.

In a crowded field of candidates, President Emmanuel Macron – who is yet to officially announce his candidacy – will once again attempt to stave off the French far-right, with a rising conservative candidate also threatening to split the mainstream vote.

Here is everything you need to know about the latest in the election campaign, the candidates and their chances of winning. 


The latest

Valerie Pecresse, the outsider centre-right hopeful in the French presidential race, has suffered a setback after Nicolas Sarkozy declined to attend her forthcoming rally in Paris.

Pecresse’s campaign “has been widely criticised as uninspiring since her designation” as the Republicans’ contender, The Times said. But she hoped Sarkozy “would be present in the front row of a rally being touted by her supporters as a chance for a new start”.

The former president has “let it be known that he will be otherwise engaged on Sunday”, the paper reported, “heightening concern in the Pecresse camp over his reluctance to back her publicly”.

Macron has been handed a further boost through the endorsement of Eric Woerth, a labour and budget minister in governments led by Sarkozy. The announcement had “raised questions about the possible stance of Sarkozy in the election”, France 24 said.

Making his support for Macron public, Woerth said that he did not “subscribe” to the arguments being put forward by Pecresse and her party, describing the serving president as the best option to “defend the interests of France and the French” in April’s election. 

His refusal to attend Pecresse’s forthcoming rally have added fuel to the fire of French media reports that are already “awash with reports that Sarkozy is critical” of her campaign”, The Times said.

She has come under fire for an “absence of eye-catching pledges”. But Sarkozy is reportedly “angry she has failed to mention him as her inspiration”, preferring instead to “pay tribute to the late centre-right president Jacques Chirac, whom Sarkozy disliked”.


The candidates

While he is yet to officially declare his candidacy, Emmanuel Macron is widely considered the favourite to win re-election come April. The serving president is expected to tout “new foreign investment projects in France and a booming economy as proof his economic reforms have been bearing fruit” after four years in the role, Reuters said.

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Macron, who leads La République En Marche (Republic Forward), has also set himself up for a conflict with those who refuse to be vaccinated, “ramping up his rhetoric against France’s minority of non-vaccinated people – less than 10% of the population – in part as a way of setting the political battle lines for the election”, The Guardian reported.

Valerie Pecresse, the candidate for the centre-right Républicains, declared her candidacy in July 2021 following the party’s internal primary. Nicknamed “the bulldozer”, she has stated that she will be France’s first female president, describing herself as “one-third Thatcher and two-thirds Merkel”, France 24 said.

Running for a third time, Marine Le Pen is once again the candidate for her far-right Rassemblement national (National Rally) party. The daughter of the party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is opposed to globalisation, which she has previously blamed for negative economic trends, as well as standing against any expansion in the EU’s power.

She has previously called for a referendum on leaving the bloc, but since 2019 has said she no longer advocates France leaving the EU or the euro currency. Her party also calls for the “de-Islamisation” of French society, while Le Pen has argued in favour of the establishment of a privileged partnership with Russia.

Unlike previous campaigns, she has “bet on dropping the populist messaging that once characterised her”, The New York Times (NYT) said, pushing efforts to “un-demonize” her party and its association “with flashes of antisemitism and xenophobia”.

Le Pen’s decision to detoxify her image is in part a result of the rise of far-right candidate Eric Zemmour. Dubbed “the French Donald Trump” by Politico, the controversial former television pundit is racking up “far more prime-time TV slots and front-page stories than many of his rivals”.

Zemmour “admires the former US president”, according to The Guardian’s Paris correspondent Angelique Chrisafis, and has been “convicted for inciting racial hatred”. But those criminal convictions have not stopped his “meteoric” rise to fame as first a journalist and now the “new face” of the French far-right. 

From the left of the French political spectrum, Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the socialist Groupe La France insoumise, is also running for the top job. Like Le Pen, he is also on his third crack at winning the presidency. 

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A socialist, he stands for increased labour rights and the expansion of French welfare programmes. He also argues in favour of mass redistribution of wealth to rectify socioeconomic inequality and is an outspoken critic of the EU, which he claims has been corrupted and is now a tool for neoliberal ideology.

Christiane Taubira, the leftist unity candidate elected during the unofficial “people’s primary”, previously served as justice minister under president Francois Hollande. She also sat in the National Assembly of France for French Guiana from 1993 to 2012 and was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999.

Following her victory in the vote to select a candidate to lead the French left’s presidential campaign, she told activists: “We want a united left, we want a strong left and we have a great road in front of us.”

But the primary was “dogged by serious drawbacks”, France 24 said, including “the upfront refusal” by a number of leftist candidates “to pay any attention to its result”.


How the election works

The public will go to the polls and place their first votes on 10 April. 

If no candidate wins 50% of the vote, which the polls suggest is very unlikely, the election continues into a second-round run-off. In the second round, the top two candidates from the first round compete and the candidate with a majority wins. 


Who is leading in the polls?

According to Politico’s “Poll of Polls”, Macron leads the pack of candidates and would mop up 24% of first-round voters. He is ahead of Le Pen (17%), Pecresse (16%), Zemmour (13%) and Mélenchon (10%). Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who announced an outsider pitch for the presidency in September 2021, trails the leading pack on just 3%. 

The news site’s tracker suggests that Macron has increased his share of the first-round vote by one percentage point since he won in 2017 and that he would win a second-round run-off vote with 57% of the vote. Le Pen is forecast to pick up 43% of the vote in the second round, with Pecresse touted to run a closer race with 47% of the vote. 

This is reflected in the bookies’ odds*, which give Macron a 1/3 chance of retaining the presidency. Pecresse has shortest odds of 4/1, compared with 10/1 for Le Pen. Zemmour is on 12/1, while Melenchon trails on 20/1.


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Preventing Electoral Fraud: Washington’s Vital Role in Ensuring Fair Elections in Congo





The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a tumultuous history marred by violence, political instability, and corrupt governance. Throughout the years, the Congolese people have endured hardships and injustice, but they have also shown immense resilience and a deep desire for democracy. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of Washington’s role in ensuring that the upcoming elections in Congo are free, fair, and devoid of any manipulation or fraud. The world must not allow another stolen election in Congo, as it would be a grave injustice to the Congolese people and a threat to regional stability.

The Historical Context

To understand the urgency and significance of the upcoming elections in Congo, it is essential to delve into the historical context of the nation. The DRC is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa and has abundant natural resources, including minerals like cobalt, copper, and diamonds. Despite its vast wealth, the country has been plagued by decades of conflict, corruption, and political turmoil.

The assassination of the country’s first Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, in 1961 marked the beginning of a turbulent period. Congo was under the oppressive rule of Mobutu Sese Seko for over three decades, during which corruption and embezzlement of resources became rampant. Mobutu’s regime sowed the seeds of instability that continue to affect the country today.

In the early 2000s, Congo was engulfed in a devastating civil war often referred to as “Africa’s World War,” which resulted in millions of deaths and widespread displacement. The war officially ended in 2003, but peace has remained elusive, and the country has continued to grapple with violence and political instability.

The Need for Democratic Elections

One of the fundamental steps towards stability and prosperity in Congo is the establishment of a functional and accountable democracy. Elections play a crucial role in this process, as they allow the people to have a voice in the governance of their country. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a democratic society, and their importance cannot be overstated.

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However, Congo has a troubled history when it comes to elections. The 2006 and 2011 presidential elections were marred by allegations of fraud, voter intimidation, and violence. In 2018, the country experienced another contentious election, leading to a disputed victory for President Félix Tshisekedi. The credibility of these elections was widely questioned both within the country and internationally.

The Stakes for Congo and the Region

The upcoming elections in Congo, whether at the presidential, legislative, or local levels, hold immense significance for the country and the broader Central African region. The consequences of a stolen or disputed election in Congo would extend far beyond its borders.

  1. Congo’s Stability: A rigged election in Congo could lead to widespread protests, violence, and unrest. The country’s fragile stability could once again be shattered, with devastating consequences for its people.
  2. Regional Stability: The DRC shares borders with nine other African countries, making it a pivotal player in the region. A crisis in Congo could easily spill over into neighbouring nations, exacerbating conflicts and triggering humanitarian emergencies.
  3. Resource Exploitation: The DRC’s mineral wealth is a global asset, and instability in the region could disrupt the global supply chain for minerals like cobalt, essential for electronic devices. This could have far-reaching economic consequences.
  4. Humanitarian Impact: Any election-related violence or instability would lead to humanitarian crises, with countless people displaced, injured, or killed. The suffering of the Congolese people cannot be underestimated.

Washington’s Role in Ensuring Fair Elections

The United States, as a champion of democracy and human rights, has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the upcoming elections in Congo are free and fair. Here are some steps Washington can take:

  1. Diplomatic Pressure: The U.S. can use its diplomatic influence to pressure the Congolese government to uphold democratic norms and conduct transparent elections. This includes working closely with international partners to convey a united front.
  2. Monitoring: Washington should support international election monitoring missions to ensure that the elections are conducted without manipulation or fraud. These missions can provide independent assessments of the electoral process.
  3. Technical Assistance: The U.S. can provide technical assistance to Congolese electoral authorities to improve the transparency and integrity of the electoral process. This can include support for voter registration, ballot counting, and results verification.
  4. Sanctions: If there are credible reports of election-related fraud or human rights abuses, the U.S. should be prepared to impose targeted sanctions on individuals or entities responsible. Sanctions can serve as a deterrent against wrongdoing.
  5. Support for Civil Society: Washington should continue to support Congolese civil society organizations that work to promote democracy, human rights, and good governance. These organizations play a vital role in holding the government accountable.
  6. Engagement with Regional Partners: The U.S. should engage with its African and international partners to coordinate efforts to ensure fair elections in Congo. Regional stability is at stake, and a unified approach is essential.
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The Democratic Republic of Congo has a history scarred by conflict, corruption, and stolen elections. The upcoming elections present an opportunity to break this cycle and pave the way for a more stable and prosperous future for the Congolese people. However, the world must remain vigilant to ensure that these elections are free and fair.

Washington, as a champion of democracy and human rights, has a vital role to play in this process. It must use its diplomatic influence, monitoring capabilities, and support for civil society to ensure that the Congolese people have a genuine opportunity to choose their leaders without interference or manipulation.

The stakes are high, not only for Congo but for the entire Central African region. The world must not allow another stolen election in Congo, as the consequences would be dire. It is time for concerted international efforts to support democracy in Congo and promote a brighter future for its people and the region as a whole.

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General Elections: Uncertainty Clouds Elections in Pakistan



a woman speaking on a megaphone

In the ever-evolving landscape of global politics, Pakistan has consistently been at the centre of attention, and the upcoming General Elections are no exception. As we delve into the intricacies of this critical event, we aim to provide you with comprehensive insights and analysis that will not only inform but also help you navigate through the fog of uncertainty that shrouds these elections.

Political Landscape in Pakistan

To understand the current political climate in Pakistan, it is imperative to examine the key players and their roles in shaping the nation’s destiny. As of [current year], the political arena in Pakistan is primarily dominated by two major parties: the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). These political giants have been battling for supremacy, each with its unique vision for the nation.

a young boy smiling while holding a flag
Photo by Muhammad Khawar Nazir on

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)

Founded by the charismatic Imran Khan, PTI has been in power since [year] following the general elections. Imran Khan, a former cricket superstar, has steered the party with a vision of a “Naya Pakistan” (New Pakistan). Under his leadership, the government has embarked on a mission to reform various sectors, including healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)

The PML-N, on the other hand, is led by the dynamic Shehbaz Sharif, who has taken over the reins from his elder brother, Nawaz Sharif. PML-N has a strong legacy in Pakistan’s politics and has been a formidable opponent to the PTI. Their political ideology revolves around economic development and a focus on infrastructural projects.

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Uncertainty Surrounding the Elections

The road to the General Elections in Pakistan has been marked by uncertainty, making it a topic of global interest. Several factors contribute to this atmosphere of unpredictability:

Political Polarization

Pakistan, like many democracies, faces political polarization, with sharp divisions among the electorate. This polarization can lead to fierce political confrontations, making it difficult to predict election outcomes.

Legal Battles

Legal battles have become a common feature in Pakistan’s political landscape. Disqualifications, corruption charges, and legal proceedings against key political figures have added to the uncertainty surrounding the elections.

Security Concerns

Pakistan has faced security challenges for years, and these concerns often intensify during elections. Ensuring the safety of candidates, voters, and polling stations is a critical aspect of conducting a successful election.

Role of the Military

The role of the military in Pakistan’s politics is a subject of debate and scrutiny. While the military asserts its commitment to upholding democracy, its involvement in the electoral process raises questions about the level of civilian control.

International Observers

In light of these uncertainties, international observers and organizations are closely monitoring the situation in Pakistan. Their presence is crucial in ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process.


As Pakistan braces itself for the upcoming General Elections, the cloud of uncertainty looms large. The political landscape is marked by polarization, legal battles, security concerns, and the role of the military. International observers play a vital role in ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

In this article, we have provided an in-depth analysis of the factors contributing to the uncertainty surrounding the elections. Understanding the intricacies of Pakistan’s political climate is essential for anyone interested in global politics.

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The Repercussions of Growing Polarization in Pakistan




Pakistan is a country with a long history of political polarization. This polarization has been exacerbated in recent years by a number of factors, including the rise of social media, the decline of traditional media, and the increasing popularity of identity politics.

This polarization has had a number of negative repercussions for Pakistan, both domestically and internationally. These repercussions include:

  • A decline in trust in government. As the political divide has widened, so too has the level of trust in government. This has made it more difficult for the government to govern effectively and has led to a decline in public services.
  • Increased social unrest. The growing polarization has also led to increased social unrest. This has manifested itself in the form of protests, riots, and violence.
  • A weakened economy. The polarization has also had a negative impact on the economy. This is because it has made it more difficult for businesses to operate and has discouraged investment.
  • A damaged reputation abroad. The polarization has also damaged Pakistan’s reputation abroad. This has made it more difficult for Pakistan to attract foreign aid and investment.

The Causes of Polarization

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the growing polarization in Pakistan. These factors include:

  • The rise of social media. Social media has made it easier for people to connect with others who share their political views. This has created echo chambers where people are only exposed to information that confirms their existing beliefs.
  • The decline of traditional media. Traditional media, such as newspapers and television, have traditionally played an important role in bridging the political divide. However, the decline of these media outlets has left a void that has been filled by social media and other partisan outlets.
  • The increasing popularity of identity politics. Identity politics has become increasingly popular in Pakistan in recent years. This has led to a situation where people are more likely to vote for a candidate based on their identity, rather than their policies.
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The Repercussions of Polarization

The repercussions of polarization are far-reaching and have a negative impact on both the domestic and international spheres. Some of the most significant repercussions include:

  • A decline in trust in government. As the political divide has widened, so too has the level of trust in government. This has made it more difficult for the government to govern effectively and has led to a decline in public services.
  • Increased social unrest. The growing polarization has also led to increased social unrest. This has manifested itself in the form of protests, riots, and violence.
  • A weakened economy. The polarization has also had a negative impact on the economy. This is because it has made it more difficult for businesses to operate and has discouraged investment.
  • A damaged reputation abroad. The polarization has also damaged Pakistan’s reputation abroad. This has made it more difficult for Pakistan to attract foreign aid and investment.

Ways to Address Polarization

There are a number of ways to address polarization in Pakistan. Some of the most effective ways include:

  • Promoting media literacy. Media literacy is the ability to critically evaluate the information that we consume. This is important because it can help us to identify and avoid biased or misleading information.
  • Supporting independent media. Independent media can play an important role in bridging the political divide. This is because they are less likely to be biased and can provide a platform for different viewpoints.
  • Encouraging dialogue and debate. Dialogue and debate are essential for a healthy democracy. These activities can help to break down the barriers between different groups and can promote understanding and tolerance.
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The growing polarization in Pakistan is a serious problem that has a number of negative repercussions. However, there are a number of ways to address this problem. By promoting media literacy, supporting independent media, and encouraging dialogue and debate, we can help to create a more tolerant and inclusive society in Pakistan.

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