After interviewing Jacques Cheminade, until recently President of the French party Solidarité et Progrès, RTL announced in an article on Feb. 21 that the presidential hopeful had over 500 written pledges from mayors to sponsor his candidacy, which is the minimum needed to be able to run for the French presidency. After that article, virtually all major media covered Cheminade’s statement (AFP, Les Echos, France Soir, Le Figaro, Libération, Europe 1, France Info, France TV Info, etc.), and a number of them took statements from his campaign staff as well, including AFP. The candidate also gave an excellent 20-minute interview to the news channel LCI on Feb. 24.
It is now up to those 500+ mayors to actually fill out the official form which was sent to each and every elected official on Feb. 23, in which they can choose to “present” Jacques Cheminade as candidate, and return that form, by mail, to the Constitutional Council by March 17. For the first time, the names of all the elected officials who sign and the candidate of their choice will be published and the list updated twice a week, whereas in the past only a random sample of the names of 500 were made public.
While Cheminade said he is confident that he will have the 500 signatures required, he is not taking any chances and his staff continues to contact other mayors up until the deadline. As he pointed out to LCI, the political landscape has changed significantly since the beginning of 2016, when his first pledges came in. In fact, the political system in France is imploding, with major, politically motivated scandals erupting around the conservative candidate François Fillon et Marine Le Pen of the Front National, but the now front-runner Emmanuel Macron and the left-wing socialist Benoît Hamon are also vulnerable.
To this situation, Cheminade’s campaign brings a refreshing change – at least when the media take up his program, which is beginning to happen. At the Agricultural Fair in Paris, the candidate gave short statements to BFM TV, Public Sénat (radio and TV of the Senate), and to RMC, and had a chance to discuss the agricultural plank of his program with many farmers and farm leaders.
Cheminade’s campaign slogan, widely reported in the coverage, is “Freeing Ourselves from Financial Occupation”. The RTL article explains that his target is “the City of London, Wall Street, and also the IMF. He denounces a ‘financial occupation’ which can be broken by creating ‘a new international monetary system’.” The article notes his attack on “financial globalization” and his call for a new law on banking separation, different from the “fake law” adopted in the beginning of François Hollande’s term.
“The EU as its exists now, taken over by lobbies and the ECB’s financial power, and deaf to peoples’ hopes, is no solution for Jacques Cheminade… We have to exit and build a Europe of the Nations, at the heart of which such common projects could be carried out with the six founding members plus Spain and Portugal.”
The article underlines his rejection of the euro, and support for an ECU kind of currency arrangement, and for the re-establishment of national banks.