Militant farmer Jose Bove to run for president

15th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 14, 2006 (AFP) - Anti-globalization icon Jose Bové said Wednesday he would run in the French presidential election next year, pledging to pull off left-wing votes from the main opposition Socialist Party (PS).

PARIS, June 14, 2006 (AFP) - Anti-globalization icon Jose Bové said Wednesday he would run in the French presidential election next year, pledging to pull off left-wing votes from the main opposition Socialist Party (PS).

"I am running to unite the anti-globalization left, the left that stands for the environment, and against the obsessive focus on productivity and economic liberalism," he said, deeming himself the man for those "to the left of the Socialists".

The militant farmer, who helped rally the French against the European Union constitution last year, told the newspaper Libération he was "ready to take on the responsibilities of going to Elysée Palace", referring to the presidential office in Paris.

He suggested that no other leader from existing parties had the "capacity to bring together" all of France's disparate, and often quarrelsome, far-left factions.

He also said likely candidate Ségolène Royal, who has not officially decided to run, hailed from the "Socialists' right-wing and has left it wide open for an anti-liberal candidate from the PS."

Socialists gave a frosty response to Bové's presidential aspirations. Party leader François Hollande, who is also Royal's long-term companion, chided that the French extreme left was "no longer the most revolutionary, perhaps, but definitely the most election-obsessed".

Rivals to Bové's far-left bid were equally unwelcoming, with the Communist Party reminding him "there is no man of the hour".

Bove has become an anti-globalization cult figure, staging media-savvy stunts which have included destroying genetically modified crops, vandalizing a McDonald's and offering himself as a human shield in the Palestinian territories.

The self-declared "anarcho-syndicalist", a sheep farmer, also founded the Conféderation Paysanne, a radical movement focused on defending small farmers' rights.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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