On Wednesday May 18th Younès Bounouara was jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of trying to kill a man whose secret recording helped expose alleged vote buying by industrialist Serge Dassault in the town where the latter was mayor for many years. The verdict will come as a major embarrassment for Dassault, who has had close ties with Bounouara for more than 20 years. The two men are currently under investigation over the alleged system of vote buying. Yann Philippin reports.
He remains one of the most fascinating and colourful figures in French politics. Arnaud Montebourg was a high-profile figure in the government of President François Hollande, who as economy minister had a very public spat with a US business boss. In August 2014 he quit after disagreeing with the government's policies and went off to work in commerce. In the last 18 months Montebourg has kept a low public profile but has been assiduously meeting key figures and thinkers on the French Left. So is he, as many believe, discreetly preparing a bid for the French presidency in 2017? Lénaïg Bredoux reports.
The anti-immigration Front National hopes to win three regions in voting this weekend, and plans changes to please grassroots supporters if it does.
As far-right National Front party surges in polls for December local elections, French politics are relentlessly driven from the Right, argues NYT.
Controversial age cap is one of number of options in a government-sponsored report aimed at getting more young people into politics.
The 86-year-old founder of the far-right party will not fight regional elections, easing the row with his daughter Marine, the party's leader.
It took three years, but Mediapart has finally been vindicated in its fight for full transparency when it comes to scrutinising the campaign accounts of French elections. The highest administrative court in the land, the Conseil d'État, has ruled in favour of Mediapart's demand that the entire process of how election accounts are checked by the official body in charge – the CNCCFP - should be open to the public. The ruling means that whatever the election and whoever the candidate the public has a right to know the full details. Mathilde Mathieu reports on this landmark verdict.
Though ruling socialists lost heavily in Sunday's polls, Hollande says priorities are supporting investment and 'social justice by promoting work'.
Party's bid for power held back by distaste for its anti-immigration policies and election system that allows voters to block it from office.
It was a bad night for France's ruling Socialist Party and a very good night for the opposition alliance of the right-wing UMP and the centrist UDI. The Right and its allies won control of 25 département or county councils from the Left in Sunday's local elections and will now control 66 councils. A clear victory for sure - but who should take the credit? One of the key factors in the Right's win was its alliance with France's centrist parties, a strategy advocated in particular by former prime minister and current mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppé. In any case, the Right had already done well in the local and European elections in 2014, well before Nicolas Sarkozy's comeback as president of the UMP. But as Ellen Salvi reports, none of this has stopped the former president and his supporters from claiming that he is the man who has transformed the Right's electoral fortunes.
The first round of voting in France's 'départementales' or county elections on Sunday threw up some important results. While it did not do as well as opinion polls had predicted, failing to become France's 'leading party', the far-right National Front still picked up around 25% of the vote. Meanwhile the ruling Socialist Party only attracted just over 21% support in an election in which it has traditionally performed well. A third noteworthy outcome was the victory of the alliance between the centre-right UDI and the right-wing UMP, led by Nicolas Sarkozy. Here Mediapart journalists examine the political situation ahead of next Sunday's second and decisive round. First Stéphane Alliès argues that leaders of the Socialist Party, and in particular the prime minister Manuel Valls, are deluding themselves in thinking that the party “held up” well in the vote. Then Ellen Salvi analyses the performance of the centre-right, where the victory of the UDI-UMP alliance has rather overshadowed any success on the part of former president Sarkozy.
Speaking on French television, Manuel Valls said he was 'scared for my country, I'm scared that it will crack in the face of the Front National'.
Victory for Marine Le Pen's far-right party would be a disaster for both France and Europe, argues The Financial Times.
Despite a low-key start to the campaign to elect councils for France's départements or counties later this month, new rules for these elections do herald genuine changes in French local politics. For the first time there will be strict male-female parity among those elected, the new councillors will be noticeably younger and the age-old tradition of combining both a local and a parliamentary post is starting to fade. But as Mathieu Magnaudeix reports, this welcome progress risks being largely undermined by the fact that the départements themselves, which date from the time of the French Revolution, are increasingly being marginalised by the ascendancy of regions and metropolitan areas. Indeed, voters will go to the polls not even knowing what powers the councillors they elect will have in the future.
Poll gives far-right party 29 per cent of support with growing backing in rural areas and in France's blue-collar or middle-class suburbs.