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Far-right TV pundit Eric Zemmour announces he will run for France's presidency

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By Euronews
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Hard-right political talk-show star Eric Zemmour arrives to visit the Notre-Dame de la Garde cathedral in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.
Hard-right political talk-show star Eric Zemmour arrives to visit the Notre-Dame de la Garde cathedral in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Daniel Cole

The far-right TV pundit in France that has made headlines over his polarising rhetoric will officially throw his hat into the race for president.

Eric Zemmour, who is polling around third nationally, declared himself a candidate in the April 2022 presidential elections.

There had been speculation for weeks about when he would officially declare his candidacy in the race, with him last month polling neck-and-neck with far-right National Rally leader Marine Le Pen.

Zemmour, a tv pundit and former newspaper columnist, has created a media frenzy in France with his views, which have already been condemned twice in court as hate speech.

Earlier this month, Zemmour faced a third hate speech trial for calling unaccompanied migrant children murderers and rapists.

Unions are planning to protest Zemmour's candidacy on Sunday in Paris when he holds his first official campaign meeting.

His candidacy announcement comes the same day that France's right-wing Les Republicains party is set to hold a final debate among candidates ahead of an internal primary vote.

Zemmour could be a potential threat to the right-wing party, whose primary candidates are polling behind him.

Experts have said that a part of Zemmour's success is his ability to communicate his polarising anti-feminist, anti-Islam, and anti-LGBT views.

Most recently, he was a political commentator with a television show on CNews, a right-leaning tv network that is often compared to Fox News.

There have already been plenty of scandals along the way -- French media posted a video of Zemmour pointing a gun at journalists during a professional security conference last month.

Just last weekend, Zemmour was photographed flipping off someone who did the same action during a trip to Marseille.