BY CLIFFORD CUNNINGHAM
A French mayor threatened to resign after National Front leader Marine Le Pen received the most votes in his region, claiming he is unwilling to “devote his life to serving a**holes.”
Daniel Delomez, the mayor of Annezin in the Pas-de-Calais department in northeastern France, expressed anger over Front National leader Marine Le Pen receiving nearly 39 percent of the vote in the region.
“It’s likely that I will resign because I don’t want to devote my life to serving a**holes,” declared Delomez, who has served as mayor of the commune since 2008 as a member of the ruling Socialist Party, in an interview with the local newspaper L’Avenir de l’Artois.
Le Pen’s strong showing in Annezin, as well as her decision to wait for election results in another commune in Pas-de-Calais, Hénin-Beaumont, demonstrated a stark geographic divide in the French election that mirrors the urban-rural political divide witnessed in the American presidential election
“This was an extremely weird campaign, and I did not know whom to vote for until a few days ago. It’s the first time something like this has happened to me,” said Ranain, a 31-year-old who voted for Macron.
He also performed well in the western part of the country, which traditionally votes for the Socialist Party; the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate, Benoît Hamon, performed poorly in the face of abysmal approval ratings for the ruling Socialist government, coming in fifth place with just over six percent.
Le-Pen performed well in the southern part of the country, including the city of Nice, where a terrorist attack killed 86 people in 2016, as well as in the northeastern part of the country, where deindustrialization has caused high levels of unemployment and discontent towards the European Union and globalization.
Many supporters of defeated far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon have expressed their intention to abstain from voting in the second round rather than waste their vote simply to keep the far-right out of power.
“Our goal is to change the way our democracy works,” said Zoea Brahams, a 19 year-old from Paris. “Of course I would feel bad if our abstentions lead to a Le Pen presidency, but we simply cannot continue to vote for a candidate we do not like only to prevent the rise of the far-right, as we have done for years now.”