Far-right pundit Zemmour set to announce French presidency bid Tuesday

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French far-right pundit Eric Zemmour will announce he is running for president, a member of his entourage told AFP Monday, after recent polls showed his popularity falling after a turbulent few weeks.

"A message to the French will be broadcast on our social networks" at around noon on Tuesday, before Zemmour goes on TF1 television, the source said.

Several members of his inner circle started tweeting using the hashtag #Zemmourcandidat (Zemmour candidate).

Intense campaigning had left little doubt over Zemmour's intention to stand in the 2022 elections and some polls had suggested he could make it to a second round against President Emmanuel Macron.

But tensions have been mounting in the Zemmour camp, as the most recent polls suggested the support of the far-right commentator was beginning to wane in favour of the traditional standard-bearer on the far-right, Marine Le Pen.

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On Saturday, Zemmour gave the finger to a passer-by while in the southern city of Marseille — in response to the passer-by giving him the same gesture — in an exchange captured by an AFP photographer.

Zemmour, 63, won notoriety as a commentator for his strident attacks on Islam and immigration.

He is due to hold his first official campaign meeting on Sunday morning in Paris — anti-fascists and unions have already pledged to hold a "silence Zemmour" protest at 1 pm (noon GMT) in the French capital.

There had been speculation that his candidacy could be announced in the coming days before Zemmour gives a major address in Paris on December 5.

Macron has yet to declare his candidacy, but is widely expected to do so early next year.

The traditional right-wing The Republicans are due to announce their candidate at a congress on December 4.


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