Foreign News

COVID-19: another postponement of the second round of municipal elections

A new postponement of the second round of municipal elections was mentioned during the video conference Thursday between Edouard Philippe and the presidents of political parties, heads of parliamentary groups and associations of elected officials, according to several participants in AFP.

A further postponement of the second round, originally scheduled for March 22 and already postponed to June due to the coronavirus epidemic, was mentioned at this meeting, but the head of government “did not give a date”, according to the same sources.

“We will wait until May for a decision to be taken,” told AFP president of the UDI Jean-Christophe Lagarde. PCF National Secretary Fabien Roussel said the decision was “referred to the report to be submitted on May 23” by scientific experts on the state of the epidemic.

According to Le Figaro, President Emmanuel Macron would have mentioned during Wednesday’s Council of ministers the possibility of postponing this election to October. Such a decision, which will require a redo of the first round where the candidates were not first elected, could also involve also postponing the senatorial elections scheduled for September.

The spokesman for the Sibeth Ndiaye government had indicated on 17 March that the second round would be held “ideally on 21 June” but that the decision would be taken only in May on the basis of expert assessments.

“No one talked about October. It is linked to the law: either we are in the sanitary conditions that allow them to be organized in June, or they are postponed to autumn,” reported the president of LR Christian Jacob at the end of the meeting.

Mr. Jacob insisted that the already elected municipal councils be installed “quickly” otherwise “the public order will be shifted too” and “the economic consequences will be catastrophic”.

According to Mr. Roussel, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner, who also participated in this meeting with other ministers, “confirmed the holding of municipal councils elected lists from the first round, which may meet before” any new postponement decision.

The president of the RN Marine Le Pen considered “absolutely reasonable” to postpone the second round to autumn, because the epidemic “will most likely not be sufficiently contained” in June.
The leader of senators LR Bruno Retailleau does not see how the second round could take place in June “from the moment it is said that the ferry will not be held under normal conditions”.

Jean-Christophe Lagarde, the president of the PS Group in the Senate Patrick Kanner, and Marielle de Sarnez (MoDem) have proposed to organize the poll at the same time as the departmental and regional elections scheduled for March 2021.

“It is impossible to do this sanitarily in June and it is impossible politically in the autumn,” Lagarde said.

The president of Debout la France Nicolas Dupont-Aignan considered this question “derisory in relation to the major issue which is to save lives”.

Participants also felt that there was no need to talk about de-containment already for people to respect containment.

Mr Retailleau suggested holding a debate in Parliament “when the time comes”. Marine Le Pen has proposed to send “study missions” in the deco fined countries.

At this two-hour meeting with 45 participants – the fourth since 27 February -it was agreed that the Prime Minister would henceforth meet every two weeks with party leaders alternately with the chairmen of parliamentary groups.


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