The race is on.
From this Thursday, January 27, and for the next five weeks, the candidates for the presidential election can get down to collecting 500 signatures.
Only obtaining this precious sesame will allow them to officially appear on the starting line.
takes stock of the conditions of this crucial first stage.
Yves Thréard presents Le Club Le Figaro Presidentielle, our new political program
What are sponsorships for?
This is a first step to take.
Introduced by General de Gaulle in 1962, the sponsorship system was designed to avoid "wacky" candidates who would have no place in the race for the highest office.
Initially set at 100, the threshold for signatures was raised to 500 in 1976. Personalities who wish to do so must therefore present this long list of sponsors within the time allowed to formalize their application.
Who can sponsor?
Various elected officials are empowered to grant their signatures.
Among them are in particular mayors, regional and departmental councilors, or even parliamentarians.
For the sake of national representativeness, the sponsors must come from thirty different departments, and only 10% can come from the same territory.
Since 2017, the names of signatories have been made public once their files have been verified.
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Five years ago, some 42,000 elected officials were able to sponsor a candidate, but only 34% of them took part in the exercise.
Sometimes subject to local pressure, some elected officials - and in particular mayors - are increasingly reluctant to see their name associated with a particular political color.
When does collection take place?
The collection period begins ten weeks before the first round.
This year, the kick-off is set for Thursday, January 27 - the day of the publication in the Official Journal of the decree convening voters for the presidential election.
The suitors then have a little more than five weeks - until Friday March 4 at 6 p.m. - to transform their "promises" collected beforehand into effective sponsorships.
Knowing that only an officially declared candidate can be concretely sponsored.
Read alsoPresidential 2022: the collection of sponsorships will begin this Thursday
How can elected officials sponsor?
The sponsors must send a form by post to the Constitutional Council, in charge of validating the files.
A declaration of assets and a declaration of interests and activities are required of them.
Once the files have been verified, the final list of sponsorships is published at least eight days before the first round.
This new step also makes it possible to have the final list of candidates, and the latter can receive the advance from the State on the reimbursement of their campaign expenses.
An amount that amounts to 200,000 euros.
Where can I consult the list of sponsorships?
The Constitutional Council is responsible for publishing the signatories.
The names are published gradually, and an update takes place every Tuesday and Thursday on the site created for the occasion: presidentielle2022.conseil-constitutionnel.fr.