French Far-Right Commentator Zemmour to Announce Presidential Run on Tuesday

PARIS (Reuters) -
French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour speaks at an event at the ILEC conference center, London. (REUTERS/Tom Nicholson/File Photo)

French far-right commentator Eric Zemmour will announce on Tuesday that he will run in the 2022 presidential election, according to an email sent to his supporters.

Zemmour, a former journalist known for his hardline anti-migration stance, has dominated the pre-election calendar with his polarizing language even if, so far, he hadn’t officially confirmed he would be a candidate.

“On Tuesday, around midday, Eric Zemmour will announce to you, live, his candidacy,” said an email sent to Zemmour supporters. “So far, it was a warm-up. The real race begins.”

He is expected to announce his candidacy via a video of about 10 minutes, which will be published on social media.

Zemmour’s hardline criticism of Islam and immigration has made him a polarizing figure, drawing support from the voter base of the more established far-right Rassemblement National Party of Marine Le Pen and the mainstream conservative right, but also alienating others in France.

Zemmour, who has been convicted for inciting hatred, is also due to appear on the TF1 flagship news program on Tuesday evening, a traditional step for candidates.

Most opinion polls now forecast that President Emmanuel Macron and Le Pen will make it to the second round of the vote next April, which Macron would be likely to win. But Zemmour had led Le Pen for a while, and the race for the number two spot is neck-and-neck in some surveys.