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Covid-19: towards a postponement of departmental and regional elections?

Departmental and regional elections, scheduled for next March, are officially suspended. A commission bringing together “all political forces” will look into the subject, government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced on France Info this Thursday morning.

The law provides that the two elections will be held, in principle, in the month of next March. The Interior Ministry confirmed it to us last week, indicating that the decree setting the precise dates would be published soon.

Except that in the meantime, the health situation linked to Covid-19 has deteriorated further. The state of health emergency will even be re-established throughout the territory at midnight on the night of Friday to Saturday, with a curfew imposed in Île-de-France and in eight metropolitan areas. Emmanuel Macron also announced in his television interview on Wednesday evening that “we have it until the summer of 2021 with this virus”.

Municipalities already disrupted

Under these conditions, many candidates already declared or elected are worried about how the electoral campaign might unfold. The party leaders took advantage of an exchange with the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, on September 29, to make several proposals aimed at compensating for the lack of “ground”: authorize election advertising on Facebook, increase the ceiling of authorized expenses, etc. “It is not the same thing to campaign in bistros and during informal public meetings as at a distance”, justifies the president of the UDI, Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

Last spring, the in-between rounds of the municipal elections, which had spanned more than three months, had been disturbed by the barrier gestures and the wearing of the mask to be respected. But the confinement was lifted on May 11, six weeks before the second round of June 28.

Answer by the end of the year?

” [Reporter les élections] would be the most reasonable. Otherwise, what would be the legitimacy of elected officials given the ocean of abstention that awaits us? “, Also fears the deputy La France rebellious, Ugo Bernalicis, who is aiming for a candidacy in Hauts-de-France, interviewed last week.

Gabriel Attal considers it necessary that “the decision be taken before the official campaign begins, so at the end of the year, beginning of the year 2021.” “How do you hold a campaign in this health context? Can we hold it? If not, does that call into question the sincerity of the ballot? If we consider that we cannot, when can we hold these elections? “, He mentioned as questions to which the commission will have to provide answers.

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