Europe 1 with AFP 7:11 p.m., February 22, 2022

Faced with the complexity for certain candidates of obtaining the 500 sponsorships necessary to stand for the presidential election, three mayors of the Var have decided to draw lots between Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Éric Zemmour.

They represent nearly 45% of voting intentions according to the latest polls.

The mayors of three municipalities in the Var have granted their sponsorships to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour, after drawing lots, stressing to AFP on Tuesday the risk that "three candidates representing 42% of French people" will be excluded from the presidential election.

This draw was carried out Monday morning at the town hall of Grimaud where the mayor LR Alain Benedetto received his colleagues from the neighboring villages of La Garde-Freinet and Plan-de-la-Tour, Thomas Dombry and Laurent Giubergia , both unlabeled.

Chance offered the sponsorship of Mr. Benedetto to Éric Zemmour, the Reconquest candidate, that of Mr. Giubergia to Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the RN, and that of Mr. Dombry to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the representative of La Insubordinate France. 

Unconstitutional sponsorships?

It remains to be seen whether these sponsorships will be validated.

During the 2017 presidential election, the Constitutional Council had indeed indicated on its website that "the drawing of lots is incompatible with the dignity of the operations contributing to any election": "every time the Constitutional Council has become aware of such behavior, he invalidated the sponsorships".

"If we are invalidated, we will at least have focused on the question of 500 sponsorships and the fact that three candidates representing 42% of French people have difficulty finding (them)", informed AFP on Tuesday. mayor of Grimaud, via his chief of staff.

Mariner Le Pen interrupted his campaign 

According to the latest Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match, LCI and Sud Radio published on Monday, Marine Le Pen gathers 16.5% of voting intentions, Éric Zemmour 16% and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 11.5%, i.e. 44% in total , but these three candidates have difficulties in validating their sponsorships.

Éric Zemmour has 350, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 442 and Marine Le Pen, 393. A situation that prompted the RN candidate to put her campaign on hold.