France’s Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said Sunday she will step in to run as Emmanuel Macron’s party candidate for the Paris mayoral race, after the president’s prior pick stepped down amid a sexting scandal.
Buzyn will replace Benjamin Griveaux, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron, who pulled out of the race on Friday over a video posted online which showed a man masturbating, along with racy text messages sent to a woman.
His decision to bow out marked a turning point in French public life, with senior politicians hit by sex scandals in the past brushing them off as purely private matters. His departure left Macron’s Republic on the Move (LREM) party scrambling to find a replacement candidate for Paris mayor, just a month before the vote.
A haemotologist who entered politics after Macron’s election 2017 Buzyn is seen as one of the stronger performers in government. She faces a stiff challenge to close the gap with incumbent Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist, who is leading in the polls.
The scandal just a month before Parisians head to the polls left the La République En Marche party in disarray, as Griveaux was one of Macron’s most faithful lieutenants.
Via POLITICO / France 24