Paris is likely to get its first woman mayor by the end of this month. Both frontrunner candidates for the prestigious post are women.
Leading in opinion polls is Anne Hidalgo, the 54 year old, Spanish-born Socialist Party candidate. Hidalgo’s parents moved to France when she was 2. She is the deputy to the popular outgoing mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, who has held the post for the last 13 years.
Hidalgo has a law degree and has been actively engaged in politics for 15 years. She says she “feels Parisian in spirit” because she believes she was “reborn” here. According to Hidalgo, violence against women is not a “women’s problem” but a major political issue that is often neglected. Hidalgo’s slogan is “Daring Paris”.
Her rival is the 41-year old Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet from the centre-right party, UMP. Nicknamed “NKM”, she was the spokesperson of Nicolas Sarkozy’s government and has 14 years of political experience. NKM studied to be an engineer “to understand the world” and says her main commitment is towards the environment.
Seen as a “posh”, NKM insists she takes the metro to move around in the city. On her official website, she shares a chocolate soufflé recipe and is seen riding a motorbike in a photo taken in Burma. The new Paris mayor will have an 8 billion euro budget for her city. Housing, traffic, transport and green spaces are some of the main concerns of voters. 53% of the inhabitants of the most popular tourist destination of the world are women.