In Coudekerque-Branche, polling stations that have become clusters?

In Coudekerque-Branche, polling stations that have become clusters?

© Marc Demeure
First round of municipal Coudekerque-Branche. Hand in the air, David Bailleul, sole candidate.

In this northern commune, half of the municipal council has or seems to have contracted the virus, a priori during the first round of the elections. One of the members is in serious condition.

In Coudekerque-Branche, near Dunkirk, seventeen elected officials are on the carpet because of the coronavirus, that is to say half of the municipal council of this city of 21,000 inhabitants. Two were hospitalized, including one, aged 70, in serious condition. The other went out on Thursday, said the mayor, David Bailleul (various left). Five are Covid-19 positive: one of them is treated at home with an oxygen cylinder. Ten others, untested, “Have big symptoms”, testifies the mayor: cough, fever, very tired. The first signs appeared at the start of the week, and for the city councilor, it’s clear, “We are completely on incubation time compared to March 15”, the date of the first round of municipal elections. He does not see other occasions when half of his city council could have been affected. “Democracy is priceless, but it has a health cost in Coudekerque-Branche”, notes David Bailleul.

Health regulations observed

Far be it from him to create a controversy: “When the first round was announced, I thought it was a good idea because I felt that democratic continuity should be ensured.” However, in his city, there was no stake, the National Rally, which had announced its willingness to go, ultimately did not submit a competing list. Alone in the running, Bailleul notes: “Whether we vote or not, it didn’t have much impact on my political future!” At the time, he was proud of the mobilization of his 34 running mates: two were present for each of the seventeen polling stations. David Bailleul touches wood, for the moment, only one communal agent on quarantine present at the time of the vote has symptoms, and at the voluntary assessors, he knows of two proven cases. “Elected officials took care of the ballot boxes, they had a more direct role with the public”, he notes.

All the sanitary instructions had been respected, distance of one meter materialized on the ground, hydroalcoholic gel, and even the curtains of the voting booths attached, to prevent people from touching them. Jean-Pierre Duyck, city councilor, and in great shape, confirms: “Everything was well tied, we cleaned all the time with wipes. The count was very quick, since there was only one list. Then everyone left, there was no celebration. “ Not even a small gathering when the results were announced.


On the mayor’s Facebook page, the comments go wild: “We still do not know the polling stations concerned despite many requests in this direction”, worries a surfer. The mayor will not give them, as he will not say who is sick, medical secrecy obliges. But he wants to emphasize that he is in good health, contrary to rumors that have run in town. Always ready to find 15 meters of elastic for making fabric masks, or the vegetables necessary for the 2,800 soups per week offered to the elderly in the town. He would like to say: “Elected officials are also on the front line, like cashiers in hypermarkets, help for the elderly and nurses.”


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