They Want Obama As President

A petition launched on Monday calls on the former United States president to run in this year's French elections, which will be held in April and May.

Now, much in harmony with the influence Obama enjoys, a French website tries to reach out to the citizens asking for their support to make Obama the next president of France.

A petition backed by a website and poster campaign launched last Monday, titled "Obama17", is calling for Barack Obama to run for president in France's upcoming election.

The slogan reads: "Oui on peut", which is French for 'Yes we can'.

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The party candidates are all relative outsiders, with Fillon a surprise win beating former president Nicolas Sarkozy for his party's nomination, and current president Francois Hollande stepping aside in the socialist race only to see his chosen successor Manuel Valls lose to Hamon.

So, why Obama? Well, as the petition's website put it, "Because he has the best resume in the world for the job".

The creators of the petition, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NPR it was a joke but it was started out of frustration about politicians in France in general. According to the site's organizers, some 27,000 people have signed the petition so far.

But to become the president of France, you have to be, well, French.

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It's not the first time French citizens have expressed longing for Obama's leadership - at least two petitions were started a year ago - but it's by far the most successful. "We started talking about that and it came up that Obama is free - so why not hire him?"

"It arose from a conversation with friends", one of the petitioners, who identified as "Barack", told the Independent.

"He's Barack Obama." - campaign organizer Obama17 Even if Obama is considered, he is not a French citizen, and therefore would not be a president in the European country.

Many voters are also concerned about the emerging prominence of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

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