From Montreal to Miami, French expats pick new MP
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French expats living in the United States and Canada will pick their new representative at the National Assembly on Saturday, after the winner of last year's legislative poll was declared ineligible by legal authorities earlier this year.
French citizens living in North America will pick a new representative in parliament on Saturday, after the MP they chose last year was stripped of her seat in February over campaign funding irregularities.
Corinne Narassiguin, a 38-year-old member of France’s Socialist Party, won by a narrow margin in the June 2012 poll, becoming the first-ever French MP for France’s First Overseas Constituency, which covers the United States and Canada.
On February 15, France’s Constitutional Council invalidated the election, saying Narassiguin opened two bank accounts for her campaign, defying election rules that state candidates must have a single bank account to process all of their financial transactions.
France’s ruling Socialist Party now risks losing a seat in the National Assembly to opposition parties, who are fielding candidates boasting strong name recognition.
Frédéric Lefebvre, a spokesman for former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, is the candidate for the main opposition UMP party and considered the frontrunner. Lefebvre was the runner-up in the race for the same seat last year.
Louis Giscard d’Estaing, the son of former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, is the candidate for the centrist UDI party.
Besides being the heir to a once-powerful political party, d’Estaing is a former MP for the central Puy-de-Dôme department.
The nominee for the Socialist Party is Franck Scemama, a virtual unknown who lived in Montreal from 2005 to 2012.
In all, 12 candidates (full list below) are vying for the parliamentary seat on Saturday.
Around 200,000 French citizens living in North America are eligible to vote in Saturday’s by-elections. Early voting via the Internet began two weeks ago. A run-off vote, if needed, is scheduled for June 8.
1. Louis Giscard D’Estaing (UDI)
2. Damien Regnard (Right coalition)
3. Nicolas Druet (Modem)
4. Franck Scemama (Socialist Party)
5. Nicolas Rousseaux (Republican Force)
6. Cyrille Giraud (Europe Ecologie Les Verts)
7. Frédéric Lefebvre (UMP)
8. Thierry-Franck Fautré (National Front)
9. Véronique Vermorel (Pirate Party)
10. Céline Clément (Left Front)
11. Pauline Czartoryska (Independent)
12. Karel Vereycken (Solidarity and Progress)