French far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour has confirmed that he will run for president in next year’s election with a dramatic video pledging to ‘save France.’
Zemmour, 63, adopted a pose that was clearly based on wartime leader Charles De Gaulle as he sat behind a desk and spoke into an old-fashioned microphone.
‘It’s no longer the time to reform France, but to save it,’ he said, adding that his fellow French citizens ‘no longer recognise our country.’
Against a Beethoven soundtrack, Zemmour demanded that children stop being subjected to the ‘egalitarian experiments of gender theory and Islamic-Leftism.’
And he called on France to reject ‘Europe which will never be a nation,’ urging his compatriots ‘we must regain our sovereignty.’
Theatrics were expected from the married father-of three who has made headlines over the last few months for pointing a rifle at a reporter, sticking his middle finger up at a female heckler, and for a secret lovechild with his 28-year-old PA.
Zemmour, 63, adopted a pose that was clearly based on wartime leader Charles De Gaulle as he sat behind a desk and spoke into an old-fashioned microphone
The Zemmour video shows migrants camped out in French cities
There are also clips of rioting, painting a picture that modern France is lawless
There is also footage of Paris Saint-Germain players taking the knee before kick off
Married Zemmour tried in vain to have the news he is expecting a baby with his 28-year-old PA Sarah Knafo (pictured with him in Marseille) out of the papers
Zemmour is up against Marine Le Pen, far-right Rassemblement National party leader (right), to get into the second round of the presidential election. Both are looking to usurp the current centrist French President Emmanuel Macron (left)
He even went on trial in Paris earlier this month for calling migrants ‘thieves, rapists and murderers’ and has two previous convictions for spreading racial hatred.
In the video, Zemmour paid tribute to his heroes who range from Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle to Brigitte Bardot, the retired sex symbol actress, and Johnny Hallyday, the late Elvis impersonator.
‘You have the impression that you are no longer in the country you know. You remember the country of Joan of Arc, Louis XIV, Charles de Gaulle, the country of gents and dames, the country of Gavroche and Causette, the country of Gabin, of Belmondo, of Bardot,’ he said.
Zemmour said ‘the disappearance of our civilisation is not the only question harassing us although it dominates them all.’
‘The “third-worldisation” of our country and our people impoverishes it as much as it takes it into pieces, ruins it, as much as it torments it,’ he added.
‘We need to give power back to the people, take it back from the minorities who relentlessly tyrannise the majority.’
Zemmour also referred to the ‘great replacement theory’ claims native Europeans are being deliberately replaced by immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.
A survey last month suggested a majority of French people (61 percent) agreed that it was going to happen.
The video features images of migrants camped in French cities and of rioting on the streets.
‘For decades, our governments, left or right wing, have lead us on this fateful path of decline and decadence. Left, right, they have lied to you. They have hidden the seriousness of our downgrading, they have hidden the reality of our replacement,’ he said.
‘For a thousand years, we are one of the powers who wrote the History of the world, we will be worthy of our ancestors, we will not let ourselves be dominated, controlled, conquered, colonised, we will not let ourselves be replaced. Against us will rise a cold and determined monster who will look to defile us. They will tell you that you are racist. They will tell you that you are driven by sad passions when you are driven by the my beautiful of passions, the passion for France.
‘They will tell you the worst about me, but I will hold on. The mockery and spit will not daunt me, I will never bow my head because we have a mission to accomplish. The French people was intimidated, petrified, indoctrinated , blamed, but it raises its head, drops the masks, dissipates the lying miasmas, it ousts its bad shepherds.’
After teasing his ambitions, Zemmour’s official announcement confirms that he believes he has the financial clout and backing to dislodge Macron and outshine veteran far-right leader Le Pen in next April’s election.
He is due to hold his first official campaign meeting on Sunday morning in Paris – anti-fascists and unions have already pledged to hold a ‘silence Zemmour’ protest at 1pm in the French capital.
Dubbed the ‘French Trump’, last Friday it was revealed that he is to have a baby with his PA, Sarah Knafo, after he took legal action against Closer magazine to prevent them from running the story.
The privacy application was thrown out of court and the magazine ran with the headline: ‘He’s going to be a daddy in 2022’.
In a previous issue in October, Closer featured a photo of Zemmour with a picture of his wife, lawyer Mylene Chichportich, whom he married in 1982.
The couple have three grown-up children together, leading to journalists claiming there was public interest in knowing about his relationship with Knafo.
It has also been speculated that Knafo’s presence at Zemmour’s side – she has frequently been pictured at campaign events – will make him appear more virile to voters.
Acid-tongued Zemmour is hoping his radical pitch on curbing immigration and Islam in France will appeal to conservatives in a country riven with racial and religious tensions.
Eric Zemmour, 63, took legal action to try and prevent Closer from publishing details of his secret affair with Sarah Knafo, 28. But the privacy application was thrown out of court and on Friday the magazine ran with the headline: ‘He’s going to be a daddy in 2022’
The cover of a September issue of magazine Paris Match which shows Eric Zemmour embracing aide Sarah Knafo as they swam in the sea
French far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour (L) and his advisor Sarah Knafo (R) pose during a photo session in Paris on April 22, 2021
Opinion polls showed support for Zemmour shooting up in September and October, briefly making him the best-placed rival to Macron, but his popularity appears to have faded over the last month.
The latest survey put Zemmour third in the first round of voting at 14-15 percent, down 2-3 points from the start of November, according to research from the Ifop group published in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday.
He trailed Macron on 25 percent and Le Pen on 19-20 percent.
With these scores, they would both advance to a second-round runoff which Macron would win if the vote were held now, the survey indicated.
Analysts stress that the outcome of the election remains highly uncertain with the main right-wing Republicans party only set to announce its nominee this Saturday and many voters yet to make up their minds.
Pundits have speculated for months about the impact of Zemmour’s decision to give up his lucrative career as a media pundit and author in favour of becoming a wildcard in the presidential race.
One possibility is that he and Le Pen eliminate each other by splitting the far-right vote in the first round on April 10, although no polls currently indicate this is likely to happen.
French far-right media pundit Eric Zemmour gestures towards a woman who insulted him as he leaves in his car after a visit in Marseille, southern France, on November 27, 2021
In scenes posted on social media, Mr Zemmour could be seen brandishing a sniper rifle in the direction of journalists at a Paris gun fair, without making any safety checks whatsoever. Pictured: Still grabs from a video of the incident a Paris gun fair showing Zemmour looking down the scope of the rifle before pointing it at the press on Wednesday
Le Pen is sounding newly confident, claiming that the ‘dust is starting to settle’ after an early media blitz by her rival, who is the son of Algerian Jewish migrant parents.
‘I think he’ll end up below 10 percent,’ she told AFP on November 20.
Zemmour ‘might end up being a stroke of luck’, she said. ‘With the violence and brutality that he expresses, he makes my project seem more reasonable and implementable.’
As well as facing softening polling numbers, the amateur historian has been plagued by difficulties in recent weeks.
At the weekend, he was photographed giving a middle finger to a protester who approached his car.
‘Real deep!’ he was overheard saying in a gesture that made headlines around the country and led to suggestions he might have alienated some of the elderly, conservative Catholic voters who form his core support.
Other influential far-right figures have distanced themselves from him in recent weeks, and his campaign team is said to be riven with infighting and dominated by young activists with little political experience.
‘I don’t support this candidacy which is tainted by desperation,’ former campaign aide Pierre Meurin told L’Express magazine on Monday.
‘You need to offer people some dreams, and not only blood and tears.’
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