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Paris elects first female mayor

Socialist Anne Hidalgo (54.5% votes) defeated her centre-right rival Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (45.5% votes) in the second round of voting on Sunday. Anne Hidalgo has been the deputy to Bertrand Delanoë, who has been the very popular, gay mayor of Paris for the last 13 years.

world Updated: Apr 01, 2014 19:19 IST
Noopur Tiwari
Paris-elects-first-female-mayor-Anne-Hidalgo-Agency-Photo
Paris-elects-first-female-mayor-Anne-Hidalgo-Agency-Photo

Paris beat New York and London by electing its first ever woman mayor.

Socialist Anne Hidalgo (54.5% votes) defeated her centre-right rival Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (45.5% votes) in the second round of voting on Sunday. Anne Hidalgo has been the deputy to Bertrand Delanoë, who has been the very popular, gay mayor of Paris for the last 13 years.

“I am the first woman mayor of Paris and I’m aware of the challenges that represents” said Spanish-born Hidalgo in her victory speech. She said she wants Paris to be a “just” city that will not be oppose people on the basis of their “sex, age or sexual orientation”. Her tie-up with Green parties for elections will push her towards prioritising eco-friendly plans. Hidalgo worked with her predecessor to give Paris the biggest bike sharing system in the world called “Velib” as well as a full electric car-sharing service for the city called “Autolib”.

Hidalgo now wants to develop an electric “Scootlib service” and encourage the use of electric vehicles in the city.

Reducing pollution and easing traffic will be some of her major challenges. Hidalgo has also promised to create 10,000 new housing units and add 5000 community child-care places.

Her big win is being seen as a saving grace for President François Hollande’s Socialist Party that has performed very poorly in these municipal elections. As many as 11 municipalities have gone to France’s anti-immigrant and anti-Europe far right party the Front National, led by Marine Le Pen. Hidalgo will formally take on as mayor next month. Several former French President’s have consolidated their political careers in their roles as city Mayors.