Christian Troadec launches "regionalist candidacy" to 2017 French presidential election

Breton leader to visit Alsace, Catalonia, Basque Country, Corsica, Occitania in order to gather supports, needs 500 signatures of elected officials · Troadec argues France should commit to "true regionalization" reform that respects "the identity of territories"

Bonnets Rouges and Movement Brittany Progress (MBP) leader Christian Troadec yesterday announced he will be running for French presidency in 2017. Troadec said next week he will be launchinh "a tour of France"seeking support to forge a "regionalist candidacy."

Troadec has been Karaez (Carhaix) Mayor since 2001. He is also General Council of Finistère member since 2011, after winning the Karaez canton election two times in a row. A Breton cultural activist, Troadec says France should implement a new decentralization process leading to autonomy for several territories. Troadec had announced in 2013 his willingness to stand to the 2017 presidential election.

The presidential election is scheduled in a double round system for April and May 2017.Leading opinion polls is now National Front's Marine Le Pen. Behind her, also with victory chances, Socialist Party (PS) and Union for a Presidential Majority (UMP) candidates are to be found. French President François Hollande should in theory run for re-election as PS candidate, although the party could pick another candidate if Hollande continues to have very low approval ratings. Several candidates are possible for the UMP, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former PM Alain Juppé.

Alsace, Catalonia, Basque Country, Corsica and Occitania

According to a press release issued yesterday, Troadec will start his search for support next week in Alsace, "a region sacrified under the territorial reform." Alsace is set to lose its own institutions on 1 January 2016, when it will be merged with Lorraine and Champagne-Ardennes into an eastern macro-region. The Alsatians Réunis group announced earlier this week it has collected 110,000 signatures against the disappearance of Alsace as an official region.

Apart from his home Brittany, Troadec said that in "the coming weeks and months" he will be visiting Catalonia, the Basque Country, Corsica and Occitania in order to gather further supports for his candidacy with the goal of bringing "the weight of the Regions into the next presidential election" and moving "France to commit with the path of true regionalization." According to Troadec, this is the way that France should take in order to "overcome the crisis", taking advantage of "dynamism of the territories while respecting their identity."

According to French legislation, presidential candidates need the signature of at least 500 elected officials -including MPs and mayors, but not local councilors- in order to be elegible to run for office.

Stateless nations's parties achieved remarkable results in Brittany, Corsica, Alsace and the Northern Basque Country is last month's cantonal elections.