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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Local elections in France - Sandrine Cocureau, a woman of extremes?

Most political pundits in France will tell you that the upcoming local elections could be marked by voter apathy.

And then there are also the stories circulating of just how difficult it is to get a list together in some places.

But the tale of Sandrine Cocureau bucks both those apparent trends because she appears to be someone desperate to be involved in local politics.

The only problem is, she doesn't seem to know what part of the political spectrum would best suit her.

The 43-year-old's name appeared on the list submitted by the far-right Front National (FN) in the town of Mérignac, a suburb of the city of Bordeaux.

Mairie de Mérignac (source - Wikipedia, author Erdrokan)

Cocureau's name appeared on the list submitted by the far-right Front National's candidate Jean-Luc Aupetit in the town of Mérignac, a suburb of the city of Bordeaux.

"She seemed to express ideas that were totally in keeping with the Front National's philosophy," said Aupetit about the first meeting with Cocureau at a market back in June 2013.

"We talked for a while and she agreed to figure provisionally on the list: a decision she confirmed in December."

All well and good. Except Cocureau didn't stop there.

Because at the same time as she was agreeing to be on the FN's list, she was also accepting to be on that of Guillaume Perchet, the candidate for the far-left Lutte ouvrière (LO)!

"She didn't come to us by chance," claimed Perchet. "She genuinely seemed to want to help the voice of the working class be heard."

Cocureau's rather weird "dual alliance" came to light when both lists were submitted for official scrutiny to the préfecture of the département of Gironde in mid-February.

And, not surprisingly, when it came to light that her name appeared on two lists, both parties withdrew her and quickly found replacements.

"There was no way we could keep her (on our list)," said Aupetit. "She was clearly trying to make a fool of us, perhaps in an attempt to have our candidacy invalidated."

"We decided by mutual agreement not to include her on either list," responded Perchet, suggesting that it might also have been a pre-election "trick" dreamed up by the FN.

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