Debate Surrounds Paris UMP Primaries

Paris City Hall.Photo:

Paris City Hall.

Debate surrounds the impending UMP primaries for the city of Paris. The UMP federation announced on March 14 that open primaries would be held from May 31 to June 3 to choose the candidates for the center-right party to claim Paris for 2014. Six candidates are already vying for these municipal elections.

The primaries are intended to create a sense of transparency in the elections, but candidates have criticized the primary process, calling it inequitable and too complex. Candidates Rachida Dati, Jean-François Legaret and Pierre-Yves Bournazel released a joint statement saying that “the choices are always made without any consultation, in total opacity…the system chosen for the primaries, despite cheaper alternatives, does not in any way guarantee the transparency and fairness essential to the success and legitimacy of this situation.”

Despite the opposition, the federation has asserted that all efforts will be taken to ensure the fair treatment of candidates, as well as the smooth running of applications, campaigns, and voting logistics.

The current primary favorite is the Essonne deputy and former minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. Among her opponents are Dati, mayor of the 7th arrondissement, Legaret of the Council of Paris, Bournazel, Paris councilor and regional councilor, and Franck Margain of the Christian Democratic Party.

A possible second round is scheduled for June 7 to June 10.

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