élections

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

International — Link

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

France — Link

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

International — Investigation

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.

French billionaire Serge Dassault's 'foot soldier' jailed for attempted murder

France

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.

Is ex-minister Montebourg preparing a bid for the French presidency in 2017?

France — Analysis

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.

Sarkozy accused of Stalinist party purge after elections

France — Link

Former president set to fire his party's number two Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, with whom he clashed over electoral strategy.

What would happen in a region run by France's far-right

France — Link

The anti-immigration Front National hopes to win three regions in voting this weekend, and plans changes to please grassroots supporters if it does.

French socialists' struggle for direction

France — Link

As far-right National Front party surges in polls for December local elections, French politics are relentlessly driven from the Right, argues NYT.

France mulls age limit of 70 for electoral candidates

France — Link

Controversial age cap is one of number of options in a government-sponsored report aimed at getting more young people into politics.

Front National feud: Jean-Marie Le Pen pulls out of election bid

France — Link

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.

Mediapart wins battle for openness over French election accounts scrutiny

France

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.

France's Hollande vows to pursue reform despite election losses

France — Link

Though ruling socialists lost heavily in Sunday's polls, Hollande says priorities are supporting investment and 'social justice by promoting work'.

France's National Front struggles to turn popularity into power

France — Link

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.

How Nicolas Sarkozy wants to claim the Right's electoral win as his personal victory

France — Analysis

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.

France’s far-right Front National gets an economic makeover

France — Link

Adding economic issues to its mix of nationalism and opposition to immigration has helped Marine Le Pen's party attract votes, say experts.