A progressive icon from the South American territory of French Guiana has joined the race for France’s presidential election in April

Christine Taubira has only marginal support in the polls but is admired by many for her work for social justice and for championing a French law that recognizes the slave trade as a crime against humanity. She last ran for president in 2002, the first Black woman to do so in France, and garnered just 2.3% of the vote.

“I want to play my part against … the discourse of hate and confront new challenges together,” she said in declaring her candidacy to supporters in the city of Lyon. “I hear the anger in the face of discrimination.”

Taubira, a former justice minister and former member of the European Parliament, is promising 800 euros ($913) a month to all young people for five years, a hike in the minimum wage and zero taxes on organic goods, among other measures.

Zemmour faces a verdict Monday in a trial where he is accused of inciting racial hatred for calling underage migrants thieves, murderers and rapists.

French President Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, is widely expected to run for re-election and polls suggest he currently is the front-runner, though many voters remain undecided.

Taubira wants the once-powerful French left to join forces. But with several left-wing presidential candidates already running, her candidacy could further splinter it.

Other presidential contenders include far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon, Socialist Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Greens party candidate Yannick Jadot and the conservative Republicans candidate Valérie Pécresse.



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