PARIS - The socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has announced a bid for the French presidency, saying that as a woman with working-class, immigrant roots she will try to repair the anger and divisions in French society and win back low-income workers disillusioned with the left.
"The Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes," Hidalgo told supporters gathered on the docks in Rouen, Normandy.
The 62-year-old has centred her campaign on "overcoming class prejudice" and is the favourite to win her party's nomination.
“The Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes,” she told supporters at the docks in Rouen, a city in Normandy about 75 miles northwest of the capital.
“I want all children in Franceto have the same opportunities I had.”
Ms Hidalgo joins a growing list of politicians challenging President Macron, who has not yet announced his re-election bid but is widely expected to do so.
The far-right National Rally Party’s Marine Le Pen also confirmed on Sunday her third tilt at the highest office in the land.
Both women are vowing to become France's first female president.
Ms Hidalgo is the daughter of Spanish immigrants, who fled Andalucia to escape Franciso Franco's dictatorship.
She grew up near Lyon, and during her speech on Sunday, cited her “humble” beginnings on a housing estate in order to appeal to workers and those who have marched for more “social justice”, including the gilets jaunes (yellow vests).
Ms Hidalgo said her experience as a working-class woman with immigrant roots would help to heal divisions in French society.
“Here in the port of Rouen, I think of my dad who worked in the shipyards of Cadiz and my mother, a seamstress,” she said.
Ms Hidalgo is perhaps best known for her campaign in her current job to reduce the number of cars and increase bicycles in Paris, making the city greener.
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