France begins presidential election process

In the coming spring of 2017, the people of France will decide who will be their next president. Will current Socialist Francois Hollande stand for another term? At this point, he hasn’t given any indication of doing so. But the center-right Republicans are already kicking off the presidential election process, and have already chosen their nominee: Francois Fillon. The former prime minister ousted the popular Alain Juppe in the final round of primaries, collecting nearly 70% of votes. The more radical Fillon confounded pollsters and pundits by becoming the frontrunner in the days prior to the polls. But as far-right Marine Le Pen gains popularity, might France see a deeply fragmented parliament in the years to come? Cui Hongjian from the China Institute of International Studies, Helene Conway-Mouret, a member of the French Senate, and Dr. Paul Smith from the University of Nottingham share their insights and opinions on France’s transforming political landscape.

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