Calls for Obama to run in french presidential election

Oui, on peut?

Calls for Obama to run in french presidential election

Image: Michel Euler AP/Press Association Images

An online petition calling for former US president Barack Obama to join the French presidential race is gaining traction. 

Campaign posters reading "Oui, on peut" - a translation of the former US president's popular 2008 campaign slogan, "Yes, we can" - have appeared around Paris, as 42,000 people have signed the petition.

Obama is not a French citizen and is therefore ineligible to run.

Organisers behind the prank have said its purpose is to highlight the lack of inspirational candidates running. Current contesters include Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron.

French voters go to the polls on April 23rd and unless one polls more than 50% in the first round, they will return on May 7th to decide between the two front-runners.

Current opinion polls give far-right Le Pen a lead of several percentage points over centre-right Fillon and centrist Macron - though both of her rivals are predicted to beat her in a two-way run-off.