FRANCE

Fiery centrist to take on Socialist for Paris mayor

AFP

France’s conservatives have chosen tough-talking moderate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet as their candidate in the Paris mayoral election in 2014, when Socialist Bertrand Delanoë stands down.

Advertising

Former energy and ecology minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet will represent France’s conservative UMP party in the 2014 mayoral election in Paris, members decided on Monday in a primary poll.

Kosciusko-Morizet, who is known in France simply by her initials – NKM – won 58% of votes in the party primary.

An up-and-coming opposition member who has retained a central stance while her party edges ever further right, 40-year-old Kosciusko-Morizet is known for her tough approach to far-right policies and a lenience towards progressive reforms such as the marriage equality bill.

She was criticised by the UMP-allied anti-gay marriage movement for failing to vote against the Socialist Party’s marriage equality bill in April, which granted homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Clear winner

Despite some complaints of irregularities, Monday’s vote was largely smooth running. This came as a relief to the UMP party, which was left shame-faced and split down the middle in November when a primary vote to choose a new party leader failed to produce an obvious winner. Jean-François Copé was eventually chosen to head the party.

Results from Monday’s poll showed Kosciusko-Morizet’s main rivals, Jean-François Legaret and Pierre-Yves Bournazel, trailing behind with just 20% and 11% respectively.

Kosciusko-Morizet will take on Socialist Anne Hidalgo, who is currently the favourite to win the 2014 election. She was anointed by Delanoë, who remains hugely popular among Parisians after 12 years in office.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning