French presidential contenders adapt campaign to pandemic

Jan 4, 2022, 9:38 AM | Updated: 9:59 am
Valerie Pecresse, Conservative party Les Republicains candidate for the French presidential electio...

Valerie Pecresse, Conservative party Les Republicains candidate for the French presidential election 2022 delivers a speech during the inauguration of her campaign headquarters in Paris, France, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. The first round of the 2022 French presidential election will be held on April 10, 2022 and the second round on April 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — The conservative candidate in France’s presidential election said on Tuesday she will adapt her campaign to pandemic conditions, focusing on social media and shunning large voter rallies in favor of small gatherings.

Like Republicans Party candidate Valérie Pécresse, other contenders running in April’s election are also mulling how to reach out to voters amid the pandemic.

“That campaign won’t look like any other one,” Pécresse said as she inaugurated her campaign headquarters in Paris.

She said a maximum limit of 2,000 people indoors will be respected, in line with a rule that currently applies to cultural activities. Proof of vaccination will also be requested at rallies.

France has registered record numbers of infections in recent days primarily due to the highly-contagious omicron variant.

The Constitutional Council said that COVID-19 restrictions cannot apply to political activities in order to ensure campaign fairness. So it’s up to each presidential candidate whether or not to apply virus-related rules.

“We will implement the rules that apply to the normal, daily life of French people, and I believe it’s a very good decision even if it penalizes us,” Othman Nasrou, Pécresse’s campaign spokesman told the Associated Press.

The centrist party of President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to run for a second term, said it will also respect the 2,000-people limit. So will Socialist contender Anne Hidalgo and Green candidate Yannick Jadot, who said they prefer to organize smaller meetings.

Candidates from the far-right and the far-left have said they are against such a strict limit. Yet the head of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, pushed back a major rally scheduled for mid-January to February because of the COVID-19 situation.

Meanwhile, approval of a bill on a vaccine pass allowing holders access to venues and gatherings has been delayed.

The government wants to allow only the fully vaccinated continued access to places such as restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums, and sports arenas. The pass will also be required on inter-regional trains and buses and domestic flights.

Lawmakers from the left and the right of the political spectrum teamed up to vote against the bill late Monday while many members from Macron’s centrist majority were absent. The debate is due to start again on Tuesday evening.

The bill is still widely expected to be approved, but later than expected — a setback for the government which wants to implement the measure in mid-January.

More than 90% of French adults have been vaccinated.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery rose 69 cents to $88.45 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for December delivery rose $1.05 to $94.42 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for November delivery rose 1 cent to $2.68 a gallon. November heating oil rose 17 cents to $3.86 a gallon. November natural gas rose 4 cents to […]
13 hours ago
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, to...
Associated Press

Biden pardons thousands for ‘simple possession’ of marijuana

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. He is also calling on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

18 months in prison for man who threatened Colorado official

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison for online threats he made against Colorado’s top elections official, in one of the first cases brought by a federal task force devoted to protecting elections workers nationwide from rising threats. Travis Ford was sentenced in U.S. District Court in […]
13 hours ago
FILE - An FBI seal is seen on a wall on Aug. 10, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. The FBI estimates violent cri...
Associated Press

FBI finds US crime rate steady in 2021, but data incomplete

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI estimates violent crime rates didn’t increase substantially last year, though they remained above pre-pandemic levels, according to annual crime data. But the report presents an incomplete picture, in part because it doesn’t include some of the nation’s largest police departments. Violent and property crime generally remained consistent between 2020 and […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Police investigate active shooter at Detroit-area hotel

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Police are clearing the area around a suburban Detroit hotel following reports of an active shooter. State police said Thursday afternoon on the department’s Twitter feed that the “situation is active and dangerous” at the Hampton Inn in Dearborn and that shots still “were being fired by the suspect.” No other […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

2 Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaskan island

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the U.S. after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office said Thursday. Karina Borger, a spokesperson for Murkowski, said by email that the office has […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
French presidential contenders adapt campaign to pandemic