Seven departments, mostly from the Grand Est region, asked on Tuesday that the departmental elections scheduled for the end of March be postponed by three months so that they do not interfere in the management of the health crisis in coronavirus and that of the stimulus plan.
“Let us work on the health crisis, because our citizens today do not want to hear us talk about an electoral campaign”, told AFP the president (LR) of Haute-Marne, Nicolas Lacroix, at the initiative of a forum addressed to the newspaper Le Figaro by seven presidents, including those of four departments of the Grand Est, one of the regions most affected by the new coronavirus in the spring.
“The departments were mobilized from day one”
“The departments were mobilized from the first day of the health crisis. We are still mobilized today and we are asked to support the recovery plan”, he added, stressing the need to respond to this “emergency “before entering an election campaign.
“The idea is to get out of this crisis and say to yourself that maybe in June the conditions will be better to campaign,” he said.
The decision is up to the government
The six other signatories of this request for postponement of the departmental elections are Noël Bourgeois (Ardennes, LR), Frédéric Bierry (Haut-Rhin, LR), Claude Léonard (Meuse, LR), Jean-François Gaillard (Aveyron, UDI), Marc Gaudet (Loiret, UDI) and Bertrand Bellanger (Seine-Maritime, LREM).
Asked by AFP, the president of the Assembly of departments of France (ADF), Dominique Bussereau, admitted that he was “in principle rather opposed” to a postponement of the elections. “But if there is an impossibility due to the epidemic situation, I would understand perfectly”, he added, recalling that this decision belonged to the government.
The departmental elections are scheduled at the same time as the regional ones at the end of March, but the exact dates have not been confirmed for the moment.