The Epidemic Has Forced France To Postpone Elections For The Second Time In A Year.
2021-01-27 | by CusiGO
France will postpone elections for the second time since the outbreak of the coronavirus a year ago. The French parliament is preparing to pass a law that will hold the regional and departmental meetings originally planned for March in June. The opposition is worried that if the epidemic does not ease soon, the president of the Republic, Emmanuel Malone, may try to postpone it again, perhaps until after the president and the Legislative Council in 2022. Macron has postponed the second round of municipal elections until March to June 2020 because of health warnings and incarceration.
The Senate, controlled by the conservative Republican opposition, passed a bill on Tuesday to postpone the transition of district and departmental parliaments, as well as the regional parliaments of Corsica, Guyana and Martinique. Subsequently, the Malone party and its ally majority national assembly must approve the extension, which is expected in the next few days. The law is an initiative of the French government based on a report drafted by Jean Louis Debray, a senior conservative politician and former chairman of the Constitutional Council. The report attempts to strike a balance between respect for election dates and the need for a democratic process and the “very serious situation” caused by the epidemic.
“From the [Debray] report,” the Council of Ministers confirmed, “As a result, health conditions and measures taken to combat the covid-19 epidemic do not allow election campaigns to be held under appropriate conditions prior to the March elections to ensure that voters are fully informed, “Equal opportunities for candidates and sincerity in vetting”.
This debate is a fuss: first of all, what facilities will be given to those who are sick or still under threat? The danger is to abstain, with a record 58% abstaining in the 2020 municipal elections after the first confinement. The answer will be to expand proxy voting. Under normal circumstances, one person can vote for another. Now it’s two, according to the bill.
Another more thorny issue is whether there is a door to postpone the regional and departmental elections after June if there is no proper sanitation by then. The government’s proposal is that “no later than April 1”, the Scientific Committee of covid-19 should submit a report to parliament on “health risks associated with elections and voting”.
What if the opinion is negative? The opposition suspects that the Malone party will take advantage of the poor election prospects of the Malone candidates to postpone the election to 2022 again.
A few days ago, Debray said at a Senate hearing: “those who entrusted me with this task (the French government) want to postpone it until after the presidential election in 2022.”. When he made it clear that he had given up the choice, he cried out: “we can’t limit the expression of democracy in this way without creating insurmountable political problems! （a）
“The government has no hidden timetable projects,” retorted Marlene ciapa, Minister of civil affairs. In any case, to avoid further delays, the Senate ruled that April’s scientific opinion would help determine health measures in June’s elections, but would not be delayed.
The epidemic has forced France to postpone elections. On March 16 last year, the day after the first round of municipal elections, Malone announced his first national confinement and postponed the second round of elections scheduled for the 22nd of the same month to June.