candidates for the presidency of france are all found wanting
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Candidates for the presidency of France are all found wanting

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Arab Today, arab today Candidates for the presidency of France are all found wanting

French presidential candidate for the right-wing Les Republicains party,
French - ArabToday

With three months to go until polling day, the French presidential campaign is getting increasingly unpredictable following the scandal over Conservative candidate François Fillon, who allegedly paid his wife €830,000 (Dh3.2 million) of government money for work she did not do.
According to Arabic-language commentator Dr Abdul Haq Azouzi, the road to the Elysée Palace is fraught with surprises and risks.
"Even though François Fillon denied all the allegations against him, this incident has greatly diminished his chances of victory and ruined his credibility among a wide base of French voters," he wrote in ­Aletihad, the Arabic-language sister daily paper of The National.
The writer noted that some of the world’s most prominent politicians carry out illegal, immoral and illegitimate acts, such as embezzlement, tax evasion or manipulation in favour of their followers, spouses or children.
"Such secrets can be kept for years, even decades, embedded in records of state institutions until the time is right to unveil them, marking the downfall of the politicians and their people," Dr Azouzi said.
"France is not doing well. It is suffering from a crisis of trust between the citizens and the government."
He then likened the status quo to the French Revolution, which broke out in 1789 amid social and political unrest that deeply affected all of Europe.
"The French Revolution dismantled the monarchy in a matter of three years and transformed French society. It abrogated feudal, aristocratic and religious privileges and saw the emergence of far-left political parties in addition to the role of the public and the peasants in determining the fate of society," he wrote.
France’s kings had created a solid, comprehensive political system – but so too had Charles De Gaulle, whose Fifth Republic was intended to be a model for a strong country.
"But when a strong country is ruled by weak people with no legitimacy, there lies the catastrophe," Dr Azouzi concluded.
Writing in the pan-Arab daily paper Al Arab, Dr Khattar Abu Diab said that ever since the birth of the Fifth Republic in 1958, the conflict between the left-wing and the right-wing camps had been centred on who would secure a place in the Elysée.
An exception to the system came when Front National founder Jean Marie Le Pen progressed to the second round of the 2002 presidential elections.
"This time around, incumbent president Francois Hollande has decided not to run for re-election, while former president Nicolas Sarkozy crashed out of the race along with former ministers Alain Juppé and Manuel Valls, because public opinion demanded that tested candidates give way to much-needed fresh blood," Dr Abu Diab noted.
"The most important lesson to be learnt here is that the era of the republican monarch is nearing its end and is being replaced by that of a president who would take the French constitution away from the semi-presidential system and closer to the parliamentary system."
According to the writer, French voters are not disillusioned with the idea of a "saint" reaching the Elysée Palace. They are well aware that virtue is no longer a characteristic of politicians.
"But the lack of transparency has become a burden in the era of the digital revolution, and there is no central topic around which the national debate rotates, " he said. "Each candidate is focusing on what they deem as important."
Those following the presidential campaigns in Paris have noticed that impressive slogans – such as Francois Mitterand’s "quiet force" and Jacques Chirac’s campaign against social fracture – are nowhere to be seen.
Dr Abu Diab concluded that no standing candidate fits the bill for the 2017 presidency.
Translated by Jennifer Attieh

Source: The National

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candidates for the presidency of france are all found wanting candidates for the presidency of france are all found wanting

 



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