The first debate of the political campaign gathered the five candidates we have been seeing everyday on the cover of newspapers and on television. However, behind the spotlight, there are six other official candidates whom we must not forget, also here to defend their programmes.
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is the official political candidate for the right-wing party Debout la France (DLF) which translates to Stand Up France.
He started as a civil administrator and then worked in different cabinets in the government. He first worked with center-Democrat Francois Bayrou for Education in 1993 and then with Michel Barnier for Environment in 1994.
Dupont-Aignan created Debout la France in 1999 and has been the president ever since. The party was originally just a movement called Debout La République in line with the Rassemblement Pour la République (RPR) party with General De Gaulle. It remained a movement when the RPR became the UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Présidentiel) party. It split into its own party following a disagreement with Nicolas Sarkozy, who was the UMP leader at the time. It then became an official party in 2008 during the first official congress, during which Dupont-Aignan was officially elected leader. It was then renamed in 2014 to Debout la France.
Programme and 2017 elections
Dupont-Aignan already ran for president in 2012 and gathered 1,79% of the votes. The party is based on nationalist values and aims to regain control of the country’s budget, currency and borders. The economic project is based on protectionism and Dupont-Aignan is firmly opposed to liberalisation and free-trade, which means that he is against the euro, European federalism and openly eurosceptic. He has said in the past that the European Union has lost its original purpose and wishes to reform the institutions to allow members states to regain sovereignty. He was also openly pro-Brexit and even visited Nigel Farage in London to support him during the campaign.
Regarding foreign policy, Dupont-Aignan still follows De Gaulle’s trajectory. He wants to leave NATO and is against any sort of intervention in other countries in order to respect the right of people to have self-determination. He wants to spread and promote French culture around the globe.Finally, he believes that France needs to regain control of its borders to decrease immigration by 50%.
“ The European Union is killing Europe. I want a cooperation within the nation-states, a cooperation of the citizens.”