French farmer-activist Bove to run for presidency

1st February 2007, Comments 0 comments

SAINT DENIS, France, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) - France's iconic farmer-activist Jose Bove on Thursday threw his hat into the ring for April's presidential election, as a candidate for the anti-capitalist far left.

SAINT DENIS, France, Feb 1, 2007 (AFP) - France's iconic farmer-activist Jose Bove on Thursday threw his hat into the ring for April's presidential election, as a candidate for the anti-capitalist far left.

Calling for an "electoral uprising against economic liberalism," the 53-year-old anti-globalisation campaigner told a press conference in a poor north Paris suburb he wants to be a "spokesman for those who have no voice."

"We want to say that an alternative is possible, for those who no longer believe in the traditional left," Bove said, calling for voters to rally behind him to "defeat the right and the far-right".

"I am not the candidate of a party, I am not a professional politician," the moustachioed campaigner said.

"My candidacy is that of a gathering of forces and citizens, from the social, trade union, political and pro-immigration movements, who want a union of their kind of left."

Standard-bearer of the French anti-globalisation movement, Bove was a prominent champion of the "no" vote in France's 2005 referendum on a European Union, while his high-profile campaign for a moratorium on genetically-modified (GM) crops continues to make regular headlines.
  
Bove faces a possible four-month jail sentence in a case to go before France's high court of appeal early this month, although he has vowed he will campaign from his jail cell if necessary.

His activism has already earned him three spells in prison, for destroying a half-built McDonald's outlet in his hometown of Millau in southern France in 1999, and in 2001 and 2003 for ripping up GM crops.

Bove says he decided to run -- despite warnings he would fatally split the far-left vote, already divided between four other candidates -- after 32,000 people signed an online petition in his support.

He has secured the sponsorship of some 100 elected officials, but says he faces a tough challenge getting the 500 required of presidential candidates.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Presidential elections, Jose Bove

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