French Municipal Elections in 2020, Epidemic and the Safe Choice

 

The unprecedented French Municipal Elections in 2020: The Epidemic and the Safe Choice - Review

In the context of political and social turmoil, the 6-year municipal elections in France officially began on March 15. French media reported that the election set a record with a low turnout, and whether the next round of voting can be conducted depends on the progress of the epidemic.

On the 15th, the first round of voting in the 2020 French municipal elections proceeded as scheduled. In response to the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the staff took relevant hygiene management measures at the polling station. 

 

Traditional parties take the lead

French media "Le Figaro" reported that no matter how the future will develop, this election has been named in history: 

IFOP polls show that due to factors such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic, as of 8 pm on the 15th, 2020 The abstention rate in the first round of voting in the municipal elections has reached 56%. 

This number can be called "unheard of", the highest in history, and it means that less than half of the voters in France go out to vote, and the balance of power among the parties will also be greatly affected.

 

A small number of French people who insist on going out to vote

According to the report, under the influence of the turbulent political environment and the health crisis brought about by the epidemic, a small number of French people who insist on going out to vote tend to make the safest choice. 

"The voting was conducted in an atmosphere of fear," said Frédéric Dabi, Deputy Director General of IFOP. "Logically speaking, the people who came to vote were relatively orthodox. They did not come to express appeals such as protest."

 

Out-of-the-box result in this vote

This situation has led to the advantages of traditional political parties that have been deeply plowing the local area, namely the Socialist Party and the Republican Party.

 Unlike the last presidential election or the European general election, there was no "out-of-the-box" result in this vote. 

A large number of familiar current leaders had taken the lead, such as the current mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, with a 30% approval rating, leading other opponents.

 

However, in addition to the "old faces", the Green Party has also made historic breakthroughs in several electoral districts, becoming an upward force, including Lyon, Strasbourg and Bordeaux.

 

On the other hand, parties with fewer leaders at the municipal level were the losers of the vote, including the ruling party Republican Kadima and the far-right French Alliance Party, which once again showed the difference between municipal elections and national elections. Place.

 

The next round of voting may had been postponed

The French "Parisian" analyzed that the un-usualness of this vote was not only reflected in the low participation rate, but also in the fact that the election was far less concerned about the epidemic.

 Even after the ruling party's poor voting results came out, the government has not been subject to too much blame.

 

2020 French Municipal Elections
France Municipal Elections

Medical experts called for the second round of voting postponement

Many medical experts have called for the second round of voting to be postponed. Opposition parties followed closely, accusing the government of ineffective response. 

Faced with such a low turnout rate, many French netizens also believe that this result cannot express their wishes. 

As a netizen said in a message: "If the epidemic will last until next year at most, the election results will affect the next 6 years!"

 

French election law stipulates that if the epidemic is too severe, the second round of next Sunday must be postponed, and the results of the first round must be invalidated.

 

Faced with accusations from various parties, the government is also in a dilemma

 After President Macron and Prime Minister Philip made serious speeches on the 14th, calling on the French to stay at home, on the 15th, the French people still went out to sunbathe at home, seemingly not planning to prevent the epidemic.

 

It is conceivable that no matter whether the next round of voting is carried out as planned or temporarily postponed, it will not be a satisfactory result for the majority.

On the eve of the first round of voting in the election, on the evening of Saturday the 14th, Prime Minister Philip announced that France has entered the "third phase" of epidemic prevention. 

Restaurants, theaters and non-essential commercial venues will be temporarily closed. He called on French people to reduce travel to curb the spread of the virus. 


2020 French municipal elections went on as scheduled

On March 15, local time, the first round of voting in the 2020 French municipal elections went on as scheduled. This election was held in the shadow of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, and concentrated on showing France's dilemma on the two major issues of epidemic prevention and voting.

 

French municipal elections are held every 6 years

 French people have to elect mayors and other local officials in tens of thousands of cities and towns. This is considered one of the most intense elections in France. The new crown pneumonia epidemic in France is getting more and more severe. 

French officials have repeatedly weighed and considered that the first round of voting is difficult to cancel. Therefore, it is still held as planned. The epidemic prevention at the voting site is highly valued by the government.

 

First round of voting in the 2020 French municipal elections

On March 15, local time, the first round of voting in the 2020 French municipal elections went on as scheduled. In response to the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the staff took relevant hygiene management measures at the polling station. Photo by China News Agency reporter Li Yang

 

A reporter rushed to a polling station in central Paris to watch the scene. At the entrance of this polling station, two anti-epidemic posters were mainly posted. 

One was to ask voters to wash their hands with on-site hand sanitizer and take sanitary protection measures; the other was to ask the elderly to vote first at the voting site. .

 

The reporter saw that many bottles of disposable hand sanitizer were placed at the voting site for the voters and the staff at the voting site. The staff were generally calm, and some voters were not so calm. They washed their hands with hand sanitizer immediately after arriving at the polling station, washed their hands with hand sanitizer before leaving, and left after voting.

 

Chinese candidate Zeng Yongge ran for the parliament of the 11th district of Paris

The Chinese candidate Zeng Yongge, who was running for the parliament of the 11th district of Paris, participated in the poll at the polling station in Paris that day, and assisted in the counting of votes at another polling station. 

Although the official call for the elderly to choose to vote in the afternoon when there are relatively few voters, a reporter revealed to reporters that many elderly people came to vote early that morning, but many voters came to vote in the morning. The elderly are one of the main groups participating in the voting and are also susceptible to new coronary pneumonia.

 

A reporter said that voting throughout the day is relatively stable, and voters can basically abide by sanitation and epidemic prevention measures. Many people use their own pens to fill in ballot papers, although "special pens" are also prepared at polling stations. 

The opening hours of the polling station are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., after which the polling station will be closed and the counting stage will begin. 

Some voters are still a little hesitant, watching the posters of various candidates just before the vote.

 

The reporter noted that fewer and fewer voters came to vote in the afternoon, indicating that the turnout rate will be lower. 

After the voting ended at 8 pm, preliminary statistics soon showed that about 56% of voters abstained from voting. 

In places such as Oise, where the epidemic is severe, the voter turnout has reportedly hit a record low. The new crown pneumonia epidemic has undoubtedly lowered the turnout rate, and the public has concerns about the risk of going out to vote.


French President Macron reiterated that it is vital to participate in the election 

French President Macron reiterated that it is vital to participate in the election and fulfill civil rights when he voted in the municipal elections.

 He also washed his hands when voting, and emphasized that voters should distance themselves from each other when voting. 

Macron then talked about the new crown pneumonia epidemic, emphasizing the importance of closing all "non-essential" public places for epidemic prevention.

 

The ticketing process of the live TV broadcast that night was unprecedented-the latest situation of the new crown pneumonia epidemic had to be inserted in the live broadcast at any time. 

At present, the battle for the mayor of Paris is the most concerned. The current mayor Hidalgo temporarily leads with 29% of the votes. 

In her speech that evening, she also said that the people should unite in response to the epidemic.

 

Compared with the results of municipal elections, the public is obviously more concerned about the progress of the new crown pneumonia epidemic. The data disclosed that night showed that the new crown pneumonia epidemic in France has worsened.

The number of confirmed cases exceeded 5,000 on the same day, rising to 5423, and the number of deaths exceeded 100, rising to 127.

 

Regarding the current deterioration of the epidemic, some public opinion believes that the current prevention and control measures have not been complied with by all people and that prevention and control measures should be upgraded. However, if the municipal elections continue, it will inevitably affect the epidemic prevention process.

 Many parties have asked for the postponement of the second round of voting originally scheduled for March 22. 

Some scholars in the medical field also believe that continuing to promote the second round of voting under the current circumstances is a bit risky.

 

Prime Minister Philip said that a meeting will be held on the 16th to discuss whether the second round of voting can be held as scheduled. He frankly stated that the low turnout in the first round shows that the public is increasingly concerned about the trend of the epidemic. It was unclear how long the second round of voting will be postponed. And the procedures for postponing voting are not simple.

 

French public opinion tends to believe that the current epidemic prevention work needs to be prioritized, and the control measures are likely to continue to be upgraded. In this context, it seems unlikely to continue to promote the election process. 

However, how to continue the voting obviously requires a positive and prudent solution, especially the connection with the first round of voting. Therefore, for the French government, the week beginning on the 16th was bound to not be easy, and the dilemma between epidemic prevention and voting was bound to be resolved as soon as possible. 



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