Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Ukraine calls on NATO amid rebel counter-attack

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

France

French far-right shames Socialists in by-election

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-17

The far-right National Front has moved on to the second round of a parliamentary by-election to replace disgraced former MP Jérôme Cahuzac. The victory is an embarrassing blow to the Socialist government of President François Hollande.

France’s ruling Socialist Party suffered a humiliating defeat on Sunday by losing a parliamentary by-election to replace disgraced former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac.

Socialist Bernard Barral came in third place in the poll in the south-western Lot-et-Garonne department, behind the candidate representing the far-right National Front (FN), who moves to the second round against the nominee of the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party.

The UMP’s Jean-Louis Costes, a local mayor, won 28.7% of the vote, while the FN’s Etienne Bousquet-Cassagne (pictured left in main) claimed 26% support.

Barral took just 23.7% of ballots in an election with very low turn-out, ensuring the Socialists will lose one seat in the lower-house National Assembly, where they will nevertheless maintain an absolute majority.

French President François Hollande said that the results of the election were a repercussion of the tax-evasion scandal that forced Cahuzac to resign as the country’s budget minister and as an MP in April.

“When there are scandals, and in this case there was one, there is always the temptation to vote for the far right,” Hollande said in an interview with M6 television on Sunday evening.

After weeks of denying media reports that he once had a secret bank account in Switzerland, Cahuzac finally admitted on April 2 that he had stashed away thousands of euros from the tax man.

The run-off vote between the UMP and FN candidates for Cahuzac’s former seat in parliament will be held on June 23.

United against the FN

Jean-Francois Copé, presidet of the main opposition UMP party, said the election result was another “scathing repudiation of François Hollande and his policies.”

Nevertheless, the Socialist candidate Barral called his supporters to rally behind the UMP candidate Costel in a so-called Republican Front to oppose a political advance by the anti-immigration National Front.

Socialist Party chief Harlem Désir also urged voters to ensure the FN candidate did not win the upcoming second-round poll.

Meanwhile, the FN said it represented the only real political alternative in the contest, saying Costes’ UMP party “is just as rotten as Jérome Cahuzac’s.”

“It is a natural alliance between incompetents, who more than ever unite in their defeats and betrayals,” the FN said in a statement.

While the FN often boasts double-digit scores in French elections, the country's two-round voting system regularly excludes their candidates from office. The FN currently counts just two MP's in parliament. 

Date created : 2013-06-17

  • FRANCE

    France to ban far-right group after deadly street fight

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's Le Pen demands political asylum for Snowden

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Disgraced French ex-minister Cahuzac drops re-election bid

    Read more

COMMENT(S)