– The French election campaign is polarizing in French-speaking Switzerland
Right-wing circles court the nationalist candidate for the presidency, leftists take to the streets against him. Political culture suffers from confrontation.
France is doing badly. The country seems incapable of reform, divided, weakened. Presidential elections are due in April. In particular, two competitors will not spare the incumbent head of state Emmanuel Macron: Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour. Both represent the extreme right. While Le Pen suffered a suffering against Macron five years ago, Eric Zemmour has already indicated that he wants to set new standards in terms of aggressive campaigning.
“The election campaign will be very heated,” says the Geneva political science professor Pascal Sciarini. The unrestrained demeanor of Eric Zemmour already radiates from French-speaking Switzerland. The election campaign has only just begun and will have a completely different dynamic in the coming months. Especially right-wing politicians could Zemmour be a role model to appear with the same aggressiveness. The generally respectful relationship between the right and left camps in French-speaking Switzerland could be lost. There was already a controversy with severe aftermath.
“My appearance in Geneva was only prevented by a left-wing elite.”
Eric Zemmour, French presidential candidate
Geneva’s city government banned Eric Zemmour from performing in a city-owned restaurant in November. They do not want to offer a platform for hate speech, justified the mayor of the decision. Zemmour, for racial discriminationIerung finally convicted, reacted irritably. He told the newspaper «Le Temps»: «My appearance was only prevented by a left-wing elite. (…) They are all the same. These people have good reasons, To be afraid, but not voR. me. They are afraid of the problems that I point out and that the political class has ignored for years. “
In the end Zemmour came to Geneva after all. The SVP national councilors Roger Köppel and Yves Nidegger courtierTde him. Köppel published in the «World week» a job interview. Because Jean Romain, a free-spirited politician, met Zemmour, the FDP was forced to publish a statement in Geneva. «The FDP Geneva neither requested nor organized nor accepted a meeting with Mr. Zemmour. It was the purely personal initiative of an FDP member to meet Mr. Zemmour»wrote the party.
Censorship allegations against leftists
It is right not to offer a platform to politicians like Zemmour, they do not fit in Geneva, left-wing Geneva politicians, including SP Councilor of States Carlo Sommaruga. The newspaper “Le Temps” sharply criticized this attitude. A Geneva journalist described the handling of Zemmour as a “new left catechism”. The “censorship” is spreading, and all those would be “blown over the heap who the prevailing morality inF.Put anger ».
Since then, the newspaper «Le Temps» has dealt intensively with Zemmour and also expressed his admiration for Switzerland wiethe. «I want to give the people back the right to express their opinion, as Switzerland is doing. I love switzerland. It is a country that cares for its roots and its identityT “Zemmour told the newspaper in an in-depth interview.
The green Geneva State Councilor Antonio Hodgers got ita lot. He urges the newspaper on social media to reduce the number of articles about Zemmour after all. «The fascination of journalists for populists strikes me again and again»says Hodgers. He offered the French newspaper about the Zemmour phenomenon «Le Monde» an opinion, but the editor-in-chief told him that he «nothing more published about Zemmour», so Hodgers.
“Eric Zemmour is simply an additional SVP politician.”
Antonio Hodgers, Geneva State Councilor (Greens)
That Zemmour with his election campaign in France the French-speaking Switzerland as GState Councilor Hodgers does not believe that this is causing a lasting stir. Swiss politicians would realize that. Because of the SVP campaigns in recent years, Switzerland is now more right-wing conservativeegg than France, the Geneva-based analyzes. Expression of itde the adoption of the minaret and the mass immigration initiative, the hanging the Sheep posters and today also the construction of an urban-rural ditch. «Eric Zemmour is simply an additional SVP politician», so Hodgers.
“The appearances of France’s conservative right strengthen politicians from the SVP and the Mouvement Citoyens Genevois, but also mobilize the left.”
Pascal Sciarini, Professor of Political Science at the University of Geneva
Political science professor Pascal Sciarini is one of the thousands of Swiss-French who will vote in the presidential elections. He says: “Nof coursereinforce the presence of France’s conservative right to die Politicians from the SVP and the Mouvement Citoyens Genevois. she but also mobilize the left.»
As for Zemmour, Sciarini comes to a conclusion similar to that of State Councilor Hodgers. He says: «Zemmour is subtle, cultured and thoughtful, but his aggressive nationalist defense policy does not go further than that of the SVP. Nobody waited for Zemmour Hut in French-speaking Switzerland.»
Philippe Reichen has been a correspondent for Western Switzerland since 2012, based in Lausanne. He studied history, philosophy and general constitutional law at the universities in Zurich and Freiburg im Breisgau.