Posters of Barack Obama have put up around Paris in what started as a joke by four friends calling for the former US president to run for the Élysée Palace.
The organizers say they began covering Obama posters around Paris because they were disappointed with the homegrown candidates in France’s upcoming presidential election.
While the posters read “Oui on peut”, the French translation of Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan, the US president cannot run in France’s presidential election as a foreigner.
And yet more than 42,000 people have already signed an online petition linked to the poster campaign, calling for the 44th US president to become the 25th president of the French Republic.
The organizers are hoping to collect a million signatures by March 15, two days ahead of the deadline to submit candidacies for the election.
The French are ready to make essential choices, and that’s just as well because we have a radical proposal to put forward, the Obama2017.fr website reads.
At a time when France is poised to give the far right a massive score, we can still give the planet a lesson in democracy by electing a foreign French president, the site adds, noting that Obama has the best president in the world.
The former US commander in chief remains a massively popular figure in France, having averaged support ratings of over 80 percent throughout his eight years at the White House.
Obama returned the French public’s love with frequent trips to the country, including shortly after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, and by commonly referring to France as America’s oldest ally.