The former Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira has announced she will stand as a candidate in French presidential elections in April.
The 69-year-old leftwinger made the announcement in the southern city of Lyon to the applause of her supporters and surrounded by journalists.
“I want to play my part, fully, against demoralisation, hate speech and belligerent words, so that we can face together the old perils – that is to say the risks of social dislocation – and also the new challenges, that is to say, the necessary and urgent ecological transition,” Taubira told her audience.
Taubira was the justice minister in the cabinet of socialist president Francois Hollande between 2012 and 2016.
She’s a very well respected figure on the left, but her announcement will dishearten some, further dividing votes in an already crowded field for the presidency.
Candidates include the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the left-wing populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon who came fourth the last time around, and the Greens are putting up Yannick Jadot who threw his weight behind the socialists in 2017.