French Presidential Candidate Valérie Pécresse Holds First Major Rally as Support Drains

Rightwing French presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse held her first major rally on Feb. 13 as support for her run declines.

In an 80-minute speech in Paris, Pécresse told a crowd of over 6,000 people that she vows to crack down on immigration and oppose what she called woke movements.

“I fight all movements that want to deconstruct us. Wokism is the war of races, the war of the sexes, of spellings, the war of memories. It is the opposite of the Republic,” Pécresse said.

Pécresse, 54, said that she would supporting building barriers and “even walls” on the borders of the European Union if the countries wanted it.

“I am patriotic and European. I refuse a powerless Europe. I refuse a federal Europe that would dilute our identity,” Pécresse said.

Pécresse, who served as budget minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, also reiterated her promise to increase salary by 10% during her presidency.

Pécresse’s rally came after a series of defections from her party to incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to officially announced his reelection bid this month.

Pécresse is the first female presidential candidate for Les Républicains, the traditional rightwing party of former Presidents Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac.

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