The Green Party of France has chosen ‘pragmatist’ Jadot as its presidential candidate.
On Tuesday, France’s Greens chose Yannick Jadot, a 54-year-old European Parliament member, to run against President Emmanuel Macron in next year’s presidential election.
Jadot will compete for votes on the left of French politics alongside Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist mayor of Paris, and Jean-Luc Melenchon, the far-left candidate of the France Unbowed party.
Despite dramatic victories in local elections in 2020, in which the Europe Ecology The Greens (EELV) party took control of important city halls such as Bordeaux and Lyon, the party has struggled to make a significant national effect.
Its clout pales in comparison to that of their German Green counterparts, who have previously experienced coalition government and are anxious to participate in the next administration, where they may play a kingmaker role.
Jadot, the sole member of the French Greens with a national profile, has vowed a pragmatic, “solutions-driven” approach to environmental policy.
Sandrine Rousseau, dubbed a “eco feminist” by some, surprised many in the first round of online voting last week, coming in second out of five candidates with 25.14 percent, compared to Jadot’s 27.7 percent.
Analysts attributed Rousseau’s excellent showing to her feminist credentials, which she established after coming forward with charges of sexual harassment against a Greens leader during the #MeToo movement.
Her far-reaching economic and environmental measures, including a basic living wage and huge increases in fuel prices and taxes on the wealthy, have also energized the party’s supporters.
Rousseau had to concede with just under 49 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s online primary runoff, failing to win over party skeptics who opposed her attempts to shift the focus away from traditional Green concerns and toward social and economic issues.
The Socialists and the far-left France Unbowed, the two biggest left-wing parties, are equally concerned about losing voters to the Greens.
However, analysts continue to predict that the April elections will be a fight between Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, despite the fact that the emergence of a strong candidate on the traditional right might upend these projections.