Municipalities in full epidemic turn against Macron

The complaints against the French Government have emerged in recent days for the management of the coronavirus crisis, with a common element: the decision of the president, Emmanuel Macron, to keep the municipal governments of last March 15 in full expansion of the epidemic.

The Executive resigned to delay the elections based officially on the opinion of the Scientific Council that advises him. But more and more voices believe that these elections are proof that the president did not take the gravity of the situation seriously.


At least two mayors have died after that appointment with the polls affected by COVID-19, and many candidates and party officials have been infected, which has led many to believe that the elections and the campaign were a factor in accelerating contagions.

This is the case of David Hecq, mayor of the small town of Anzin-Saint-Aubin, in the north of the country, convinced that he was infected at the electoral college.

"I am very pissed off at the government and the president for having kept the date of the elections. A few days before, the schools closed and the day before, bars and restaurants. They already knew the seriousness of the situation," the councilman assured Efe. spent several days in bed due to illness.

Worse was his right hand, Stéphanie Boubringhin.

"He thought that we lost it. He went five days without eating, he was consuming himself. Now he is doing better", points out the mayor, who considers that the Executive committed the crime of "endangering the lives of third parties by a depositary of the authority "by not canceling the elections.

Hecq has also called for the election results to be annulled because, in his opinion, "the low participation rate - less than 50% of the census - was highly influenced by fear of the disease."


Ludovic Toro is, in addition to the mayor of Coubron, a doctor in his town of less than 5,000 inhabitants east of the capital and has decided to take the government to court.

"Why did they not act like Germany, like South Korea? It is gross negligence, they have acted as amateurs," this doctor assures Efe, who believes that the polling stations were a focus of the virus's expansion.

"They told us to take action, but they didn't give us any material," he says.

A group of conservative candidates from Marseille have also filed a complaint against the Executive.

Municipal governments are, for many, proof that the Government did not take seriously the gravity of the situation facing the country, where official data now registers more than 3,500 deaths and 52,000 infected by the virus.

The lawyer Arié Alimi, who represents an association of toilets, has put those elections as a "causal link" between the government's decisions and the progress of the epidemic in the country.

"Despite all the indications they had, they decided to keep the municipal authorities. It is proof that they did not comply with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO)," the lawyer, who has filed a complaint with various charges, told Efe. including involuntary manslaughter, which opens the way to a criminal case.

The lawyer assures that the WHO launched the first alarm signal on January 24 and "made it clear that there was a lot of testing to be done, but in France they ignored that recommendation, as did the experience of other countries."

The lawyer believes that they had to equip themselves with protective material for health personnel and tests for the entire population.


As there are ministers in the focus of his complaint, Alimi believes that an investigation should be opened within the framework of the Court of Justice of the Republic, the only competent body in France to try members of the Executive.

But it also believes that ordinary courts must act, because the investigation must determine responsibility at all levels of the administration.

Macron, for his part, remains on the sidelines, due to the immunity conferred on him by his status as head of state.

The Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, assured on the radio "France Info" that "a dozen" of complaints have been received against the authorities, but that for now the urgency is to fight the virus and not to open causes.

An argument that Alim does not accept: "it is now when you have to investigate, because it is now when the facts are happening."


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