With five months to go before France’s presidential polls, the list of likely candidates is starting to take shape. The communist party has chosen a woman as its preferred candidate, Marie-George Buffet, to represent an anti-liberal block. She won 96 percent support in a ballot of party members.
The Socialists are expected to decide who will be their candidate next week, and the ruling UMP party will decide in January. François Bayrou of the centrist UDF party is expected to soon put his name forward to be a presidential candidate, with a vote expected in December.
Meanwhile, the far-right National Front led by Jean-Marie Le Pen has been holding a conference to plan for the presidential poll. This as some commentators question whether he may have to give up his hopes of being a candidate. They suggest he is going to struggle to get the required backing of at least 500 elected politicians in 30 regions of France, because they are hesitant to be publicly linked to his party. Le Pen has called for a change in the law, which currently makes it obligatory for elected officials to declare which presidential candidate they are backing.