“Better a duck’s head than an idiot’s head,” humorist Laurent Baffie told reporters on Wednesday, campaigning in Paris for the animalist party, whose official poster he brandished with an orange duckling.

“Mr. MP, that’s classy, ​​huh? I want to siphon off public money like the others and enjoy the same lifestyle,” he jokes when he will be at the top of the list in the third constituency of Paris.

For Laurent Baffie, this commitment to animals is not new. He readily concedes that his candidacy is moreover more support than real political ambition.

“I’m all for the cause, so that the animals are raised in dignified conditions. I started to support them, because they asked me to. It’s a kind of spotlight”, explains the one who admits having formerly voted for the ecologist party a little by default.

At first hesitant, as if embarrassed to be there, the “PAF sniper” takes time to put on this new candidate costume, reluctant to distribute leaflets. “I’m not a tractor, I’m not really into action. I don’t want to interfere with my notoriety,” he says, turning his gaze to the moorhens that inhabit this square in the 17th arrondissement.

He seems little informed about those who will face him in the legislative elections in June, when he will be opposed in particular to Stanislas Guerini, former LREM delegate who has just been appointed Minister of Transformation and Public Service.

“Guerini? I don’t even know who it is, he replies with a smile. I’ve always had more affinity with ducks than with the political class”.

Going around the pond, Baffie is in his element, fascinated by this “urban zoology”. “Look! A robin. This poor bird is only going to live for a year, so don’t get attached,” he says after pulling out his smartphone to snap some posing ducks.

The other party volunteers have fun with this atypical towing operation. “For us, it’s a bit of recess. We work a lot less, recognizes Sophie Monnier, one of the members present. The real job is on Sundays, in the markets. But it’s a real support, we are happy that he is present”.

For his deputy Douckha Markovic, also a Paris councilor responsible for animal rights, this exhibition is precious. “It’s rare to have celebrities who give their time to carry this cause and help animals, she believes. It’s above all a support, even if it is perhaps the only time that he will campaign, he gives his image and his time for the animals”.

Leaflets in hand, Baffie relaxes and ends up getting caught up in the game, even going so far as to plead for the Animalist Party around the merry-go-round and children’s swings, and even manages to convince a future elector sitting on a bench. Two minutes later, she is thrilled. “I will vote for the animalist party and Laurent Baffie without hesitation,” promises Khely Marin, a 34-year-old salesperson.

Laurent Baffie is not the only personality to want to run for a mandate in the National Assembly: the former columnist Aymeric Caron and the humorist Gérald Dahan under the colors of the Nupes or the singer Francis Lalanne, without label, have also nominated.

Lucid about his chances of victory, Baffie says “knowing that their scores are generally around 2%. If I can help them get at least 3%, I will be very happy already”, assuring that he “will always support them” and that he will watch his score “with the greatest attention”.

And to end with a slogan: “If you don’t like politics, vote for animals”.

05/26/2022 17:17:46 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP