"Measure purely electoral", "heavy attack on democracy": the Socialist Party and the National Gathering on Thursday criticized the announced end of the awarding of a political color to the candidates of small municipalities to the municipal March 2020.
"We know that for smaller municipalities, this system is not necessarily adapted. (…) We could perfectly well envisage setting a threshold, at 3,500 to 9,000 inhabitants, below which the political affiliation to the main political currents that we know is not essential, "declared the Minister of the Interior on Wednesday. Christophe Castaner, during questions to the government in the Senate.
A prerogative of the prefect criticized
Today, "there is the ability for the prefect to look for a number of elements that can give a political attribution" candidates even if they do not wish, said Christophe Castaner. For example "various left" or "various right" or "center" for a candidate who nevertheless would like to declare himself "without label".
Against the backdrop of the vocations crisis, local elected representatives and associations were alarmed by the maintenance of this allocation, which was left in the hands of the prefectural administration. The Ministry of the Interior argues that the allocation of labels in these municipalities "is proving increasingly difficult" with "lists that claim to be apolitical or citizens".
"Pathétique", judge the PS
In a statement, the PS deplored a "rude electoral sleight of hand": "voters have the right to know who they are voting for! He said. All the same, he says that nearly 50% of the electorate is concerned.
At six months of municipal, the party sees in this project a strategy of the majority to "make a double blow": LREM, lack of "candidates in satisfactory number", "conceals its inability to be properly represented" in March 2020 "And where he presents it, he hopes, by dissimulation, to escape the sanction of the electors. "It's pretty pathetic," judges the PS.
"Hide the predictable rout of LREM"
At the RN, Gilles Pennelle, party campaign director for the municipal, said he was "totally opposed" to this measure "purely electioneering", intended to "mask the predictable defeat of LREM" in this election. "In these municipalities with fewer than 9,000 inhabitants, LREM will be non-existent. By wanting to depoliticize the candidates, there is a will to mask the foreseeable rout of LREM, "he told AFP.
On the right, Olivier Marleix, MP LR of Eure-et-Loir, makes the same analysis. "How to try to hide a future slap of LaREM in the municipal elections? Do not take into account the small municipalities mostly right, "he tweeted.