Municipal elections in France: Greens mark gains in second round

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AFP

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Voters and returning officers were required to wear face masks


The Green Party of France and its left allies made significant progress in the second round of the local elections.

They captured cities like Lyon, Strasbourg and Besançon.

President Emmanuel Macron, a centrist LREM party, which does not have the type of local support it enjoys at the national level, has failed to win in any big city.

Voting was delayed in March due to the coronavirus crisis. Restrictions such as mandatory masks remained in place and attendance was very low.

The first round of municipal elections took place two days before the government declared a blockade on March 17.

The second round, which was to take place a week later, has been postponed to the last Sunday in June.

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Confirming good performances in the first round, the candidates or the green politicians supported by the Greens won or were about to win in a series of cities including Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Nancy.

In Paris, the acting mayor Anne Hidalgo – whose socialist party was practically wiped out at the national level – won comfortably. Another prominent socialist, Martine Aubry, was shortly re-elected in Lille.

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EPA

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Annie Hidalgo remains mayor of Paris, owned by the socialists since 2011


In a rare positive development for Mr. Macron, his popular Prime Minister Édouard Philippe was elected mayor of the port city of Le Havre, in the northwest of the country.

This could lead to a cabinet reshuffle, although the constitution allows Philippe to appoint a deputy mayor while he remains in government.

A candidate for the far-right National Rally has taken Perpignan to the south. It is the first time that the party has gained control of a French city of more than 100,000 inhabitants.

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