French Greens pick Jadot as presidential candidate amid fragmented Left

FILE PHOTO: Front-runner candidate for French Ecologist Party EELV Yannick Jadot waits before a TV debate as part of the campaign for the European elections, on the set of the French TV channel BFM, in La Plaine-Saint-Denis, outside Paris, France May 23, 2019. Stephane De Sakutin/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) -Green voters on Tuesday chose former Greenpeace activist Yannick Jadot to be their candidate for France's April 2022 presidential election.

Jadot won the vote by a narrow margin, winning 51.03% of the votes against 48.97% for the self-styled radical Sandrine Rousseau.

The 54-year old EU lawmaker wants France to devote 20 billion euros ($23.43 billion) per year to the transition to a more environment-friendly economy, progressively end intensive animal farming and establish a new wealth tax.

Born in a village in northern France, Jadot worked a few years for NGOs in Burkina Faso and Bangladesh before getting increasingly involed in politics back home while heading several environment-focused NGOs, including the French branch of Greenpeace.

The French Greens lack the firepower of their German counterparts and no opinion poll sees Jadot as a serious challenger to President Emmanuel Macron.

But the question is whether the self-styled consensus builder, who wants to attract voters beyond the remits of the small Greens party, could emerge as a leader of the fragmented French Left - for that election and beyond - and weigh on the political debate.

(Reporting by Ingrid MelanderAdditional reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Benoit Van OverstratenEditing by Geert De Clercq)

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