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Christiane Taubira, from the left, confirms that she will run for the French presidency

Former Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has announced that she will be a candidate in the French presidential elections in April.

The 69-year-old left winger made the announcement in the southern city of Lyon to cheers from his supporters and surrounded by reporters.

“I want to play my full role against demoralization, hate speech and belligerent language, so that we can face together the old perils – that is, the risks of social dislocation – and also the new challenges, c that is, the necessary and urgent ecological transition,” Taubira told his audience.

Taubira was Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Socialist President François Hollande between 2012 and 2016.

He is a well-respected figure on the left, but his announcement will discourage some, further dividing the votes in an already crowded field for the presidency.

Candidates include Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and left-wing populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon who came fourth last time out, and the Greens front Yannick Jadot who threw his weight behind the Socialists in 2017.

euronews Gt

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