Keyword: élections

European elections: how they work and what's at stake

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MEPs at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, March 2019.  © Reuters/Vincent Kessler MEPs at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, March 2019. © Reuters/Vincent Kessler

The results of this month’s European Parliament elections, which in France and 21 other countries are to be held today, will be a key test of political parties across the continent, where anti-EU, nationalist and populist groups have been gaining ground on traditional parties. For French President Emmanuel Macron, whose LREM party, strongly pro-EU, is fighting European elections for the first time, the outcome on Sunday will also be a test of the credibility of his ambitions for the bloc. But the polling also lifts the curtain on a series of new appointments to lead the EU’s major institutions, which will hang on the results. Ludovic Lamant presents a guide to how the elections work, and the detail of what’s at stake.    

How France's far-right RN party plans enriching its supporters out of public funds

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Far-right Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen. © Reuters Far-right Rassemblement National party leader Marine Le Pen. © Reuters

To fund its campaign for this month’s European Parliament elections, the French far-right Rassemblement National party (the renamed Front National) has raised around 4 million euros through so-called “patriotic” loans from its members and supporters, to who it has promised a 5% interest rate. The party will submit the amounts raised, with interest, in its application for a post-election refund of campaign spending that is granted to parties and paid out of the public purse. The generous interest payments paid to its lending members and supporters will cost the taxpayer around 200,000 euros, and the party says it plans employing the same strategy in future elections. Marine Turchi reports.

Macron party and far-right lead in European elections surveys

Opinion polls are giving France's far-right Rassemblement National party (the former Front National) a short lead over President Emmanuel Macron's LREM party in the run-up to European Parliament (EP) elections on May 26th, while both are way ahead of the 31 other party lists, which are the most ever seen in EP elections in France.

France's 'yellow vests' to field candidates in European elections

Following two months of nationwide protests as a loosely formed movement communicating mostly on social media, the so-called 'yellow vests', made up of low- and middle-income earners angry at falling living standards and against the political and social elite, have formed a group to field candidates for this spring's elections for the European Parliament.

Macron facing the scenario of a return to the urns

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French President Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters

No French president or prime minister over the past 50 years has survived a political crisis like that in which Emmanuel Macron has become engulfed with the ‘gilets jaunes’ – Yellow Vest – movement, which is calling for improved living conditions for low- and middle-income earners, and increased participation of citizens in political decision making. In this analysis of the crisis, François Bonnet argues why Macron, in order to save his five-year term in office, appears to have little other choice than to return to the urns.

Paris mayor faces tough battle as rivals circle a divided City Hall

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Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo with deputy Bruno Julliard in March 2018. © Reuters Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo with deputy Bruno Julliard in March 2018. © Reuters

The deputy mayor of Paris, Bruno Julliard, this week resigned from his post in a blistering attack on the French capital’s socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, for who Julliard had previously been a close political ally. It was the latest significant blow for Hidalgo who hopes to be re-elected to the prestigious and politically strategic post in 2020. In this detailed report, Pauline Graulle and Ellen Salvi went behind the scenes at the Paris City Hall to hear from insiders their divided opinions on Hidalgo’s management of the riverside Hôtel de Ville, which increasingly appears like a ship taking on water.     

Former French PM Valls mulls bid to become mayor of Barcelona

Former socialist prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, 55, has told Spanish media that he is mulling becoming a candidate in mayoral elections next year in Barcelona, where he was born, when he would run as representative of Spain's centre-right Ciudadanos party which is opposed to Catalan independence.  

French Polynesia pro-independence leader slams nuclear test legacy

Oscar Temaru, campaigning ahead of independence elections in April, has said it was scandalous that France knew about the risks posed to the local population by the 193 nuclear test blasts cordered by Paris in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1996, and demanded that France assume responsibility for the former workers at Moruroa who are now seeking compensation.

Corsican nationalists gain control of new local assembly

Elections to decide the makeup of a new regional assembly on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica have resulted in a resounding win for an alliance of nationalists who want greater powers of autonomy and the introduction of preferential treatment for locals, such as in access to housing. 

Corsican nationalists surge in first round of French election

Group led by autonomist leader Gilles Simeoni won 45.36% of the votes for newly-created, more powerful local assembly on French island.

France can reap rewards from Brexit and election says business chief

Head of bosses' group MEDEF Pierre Gattaz expects investment boost from election of either François Fillon or Emmanuel Macron in May.

German, Spanish leaders warn French elections may prompt end of EU

This spring's presidential elections in France, in which the far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen is tipped to reach the second-round playoff, has the potential to set in train the victories of other anti-EU parties in elections across Europe warned Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

French newspaper abandons opinion polls in run-up to election

Le Parisien shifts focus from what it calls ‘horse race’ journalism to on-the-ground reporting ahead of 2017 presidential vote.

How France helped Gabon leader Bongo in 'fake birth certificate' scandal

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Ali Bongo with French President François Hollande. © Reuters Ali Bongo with French President François Hollande. © Reuters

Gabonese president Ali Bongo is seeking a second term of office in elections due in August in the former French colony, where the economy is bled by rampant corruption, a legacy of his father Omar, for decades a key French ally in Africa. But the legitimacy of Ali Bongo’s rise to power in 2009, and his bid for reelection, is thrown into doubt over suspicion that his birth certificate is a fake, and that he is in fact an adopted Nigerian, for the constitution of Gabon prohibits naturalized citizens from running for the presidency. Mediapart has gained access to a document showing the French presidency has stepped into the controversy to announce the certificate is “authentic”, despite growing evidence to the contrary. Fabrice Arfi reports.