Far-right commentator joins presidential race in France

Far-right commentator Éric Zemmour announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he will campaign for president of France ahead of next year's April election.

In a 10-minute long video, Zemmour, an anti-immigration and anti-Muslim hard-liner, made divisive and inflammatory comments while announcing his bid for election.

Zemmour, the son of Algerian Jewish parents who migrated to France, said he had joined the race "so that our daughters don't have to wear headscarves and our sons don't have to be submissive."


The 63-year-old, who has been convicted twice for inciting hatred, declared his intention to run for office while accusing the current French president, Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronDefense & National Security — Pentagon puts 8,500 troops on high alert Biden touts 'total unanimity' with European leaders after call on Russia-Ukraine Biden huddling with European leaders on Russia's military buildup near Ukraine MORE, of failing to deliver on his promise of change, France24 reported.

Zemmour said in the video, "It is no longer the time to reform France, but to save it."

He has been nicknamed the "French Trump" because of his provocative statements that garner media attention. The French public has criticized the media for fueling his rise.

"You feel like foreigners in your own country," Zemmour said in the speech, which was peppered with images of violence and social unrest in France in the recent years.

"Immigration is not the cause of all our problems, but it aggravates them all," he said, per France24.

Zemmour is currently third in the polls behind Macron, who leads the race, and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is a close second. However, many of Le Pen's supporters are worried that Zemmour could siphon far-right supporters from her campaign.


Zemmour also said in his speech that he would banish gender studies from French schools, reduce public debt and win back France's sovereignty "from European technocrats and judges" if elected.

The language Zemmour used in the video is not new for him, but rather in line with his past commentary. For instance, Politico Europe noted he has repeatedly argued in the past that Islam is "incompatible" with Western values and puts France at risk of "losing its identity" at is "submerged" by a growing immigrant population.

He was fined in 2018 for religious hatred over comments that all Muslims think jihadists are “good Muslims” and again in 2011 for saying that “drug dealers are mostly Blacks and Arabs” and that this was the reason people of color had their IDs checked “17 times a day.”