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Elections in France: Who is Africa voting for?

Any change of the Elysée Palace tenant has implications in Africa. Still, it is with keen interest that the 2017 election is followed behind the scenes of the palaces. Everyone having their favorite…

By our correspondents to Rabat, Alger and Kinshasa
If poll institutes increasingly provided predictions on the eve of the first round of the French presidential election, in Africa also the time is for bets, especially behind the scenes of the palaces where everyone had his/her favorite and generally, the one who will respond best to his interests. Thus, in Rabat, without surprise, the heart leans to the right party. « Morocco has always had excellent relations with the French Right, » said Hicham Rahil, a member of the Franco-Moroccan friendship association, as close to Moroccan as French political circles, before stressing that: « The Moroccan State does not support anyone. He will work with the elected president, whatever his political party. After such clear statements, he continued, « but my association and I support Francois Fillon. » 

« Morocco has always had excellent relations with the Right Party »

For a simple reason: « Morocco has always had excellent relations with the Right”, especially under Sarkozy. Through Rachida Dati, of Moroccan background, who helped strengthen the links between Paris and Rabat. « Not only, with Chirac as well, today with Fillon. As the Right does not support the separatists, they have always been firmer with the terrorist groups. An allusion to the separatist Polisario Front « regularly received by the socialist ministers while a right-wing politician has never supported them. Other major specification: « Be careful, this is the moderated Right and not the extreme Right. Then Fillon, « a statesman, with experience. When one sees the situation in France, one cannot even walk on the Champs Elysées… And then, anyway the Left is divided between Mélenchon and Hamon who does not even manage to federate within his own party and have the support of the socialist ministers!  »

Quid of Macron who visited the enemy neighbor, Algeria? « Macron is the candidate of the French people, he is free to go where he wants. But we can ask ourselves the question as to: why mentioning only Algeria whereas France had colonized several countries? Then, between France and Algeria, it is a question of reconciliation, of leaving the past behind them, why coming back there? Anyway, it must be on the right or on the left. He’s a banker, we know. Who is funding his campaign? There are a lot of questions around him. That is why in Morocco there is a tendency to lean towards Fillon, a statesman with experience, whose political party has always supported the national interest. » 

« Benoît Hamon, he was not necessarily the favorite, but he is part of the family »

In Senegal, where politics is almost as passionate as football, people have different opinions. For an adviser who whispers in the ear of the leaders of the Teranga land, and not only, « it is all about filiation ». « In Senegal, as in France, there are political families. Thus each family has its candidate, though the country, insulted by Sarkozy, prefers the Socialist party. Benoît Hamon was not necessarily the favorite, but he is part of the family. Knowing that here, all or almost all were received. « Dakar is a crucial step for the French political class in the same way Paris remains the mother house for Senegalese political players, in particular since for some, the relations are ancient. Some went through the National Administration Higher School, they made their class with French politicians, for sure, it created links. At least, « for the elders. » « With the younger generation, it’s quite different. They tend to emancipate themselves from the old networks such as « France-Africa ». So, for them, the trend is rather Macron. We see him a bit like the French-style Obama. He’s young, charismatic, talking business. It’s going well here … as elsewhere in the continent.” For, failing to believe in a change in France-Africa relations, at least on the French side, African youth sees the candidate of En marche as a kind of renewal, including in the relations between France and her former colonies. As for Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon, « It’s funny because both earn points, on the street side more than the power, for the same reason: their outspoken. In Africa we love it, it’s so far from what we’re used to… »

« We now see members of the extreme Right and Left, which is really new”

In Kinshasa, too, the extreme right and left are interesting as much as they raise questions. « We now see membersErreur de traductionmembersme of the extreme right and left, which is quite new, « observed Roger Ndaywel, another communication consultant close to the power networks in DR Congo, and manager of the CEO LN Communication firm. Though the general trend remains « shared », « there is a category of people who find themselves in Macron, neither on the Left nor on the Right, they federate in both sides, inspire a certain idea of ​​the France of tomorrow. Yet, a few months earlier, Fillon had the preference. « Disappointed from Holland, and more widely from socialism, many clearly supported Fillon. Without scandals, he would have remained a favorite. As for the power, « there has never been great love between Holland and Kabila. So anyway, not a socialist. 

But obviously, for the moment, they do not position themselves. They are probably waiting for the outcome of the first round. There, they will probably seek to get closer to a candidate. I think there’s a good chance they’ll support Macron. Possibly, Fillon if he is in the second round. Everything will be played on April 23rd and May 7th.


Author : ANA // Photos : 1. Jacques Chirac, the most « african » of the french president, were used to travel a lot in Africa, i.e in Brazzaville with Sassou Nguessou © DR 2. Fillon, ex french prime minister in Abidjan City © DR 3. Emmanuel Macron while is visiting Algeria © DR

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