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Macron’s party launches campaign efforts … without Macron

PARIS — Emmanuel Macron’s party is kicking off its presidential campaign efforts — without the president’s face on it.

Macron’s La République en Marche party has launched a website and a social media operation this week, printed leaflets and posters, and is set to hand out campaign material across the country over the weekend, party representatives told reporters on Friday.

Macron has yet to officially announce his intent to run in April’s presidential election and doesn’t feature on the material.

Dubbed “withyou2022,” the website focuses instead on the experiences of French citizens such as health workers or farmers.

“We have named it ‘With you’, because it is the best summary of what we are carrying, since 2016, and during the whole five-year term,” LREM representatives told reporters in a statement.

“We will continue to enrich it throughout the coming weeks with testimonies received, in order to give voice to important issues that affect the French,” the statement continues.

The move, obviously meant to prepare the ground for the president’s reelection campaign, comes amid expectations that Macron will declare his candidacy during the first half of February.

The exact date and location of his declaration are subject to much speculation in French media.

The “With You” website does not display LREM’s logo or name but the legal mentions indicate the party is indeed behind it. According to Europe 1, the majority party plans to distribute 500,000 leaflets and put up 140,000 posters over the weekend.

On social media, government ministers and party spokespeople reportedly shared on Twitter a visual that does feature Macron, before deleting their tweets. The image was compared by journalists to former President François Mitterrand’s campaign posters from 1988.

Left-leaning activists were quick to mock the “With You” slogan, sharing a visual that displayed the line “With Them” and featuring images of some of France’s richest men and industry moguls.

Pauline de Saint Remy contributed reporting.

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