July 20th, 2024

Quebec politician accused of ‘interfering’ in French elections

By The Canadian Press on July 2, 2024.

A French citizen, left, places their ballot in a ballot box as they turned out to vote in France's national elections, at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montreal, Saturday, June 29, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joe Bongiorno

QUEBEC – A Quebec provincial politician is being accused of engaging in “a form of interference” in French politics by a candidate for the far-right National Rally.

Québec solidaire member Ruba Ghazal was accused of interference by Aurélien Nambride, an alternate candidate for the National Rally in North America, ahead of last weekend’s first round of voting.

Last week, Ghazal called on French voters in Quebec to block the path to power for the extreme right and campaigned in Montreal for a left-leaning New Popular Front coalition candidate.

Nambride, whose party finished third in North America, says it is unfortunate that a foreign politician was campaigning in French elections.

Ghazal threw her support behind Oussama Laraichi, who will face off against front-runner Roland Lescure, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance Party, during a second round of voting this weekend.

Québec solidaire rejected any allegations of interference, calling Ghazal’s support a personal initiative, albeit one the party supports.

The French electoral system allows citizens living abroad in 11 different districts to elect members to the National Assembly, which has 577 seats.

Quebec is home to some 260,000 French citizens, including about 200,000 residing in Montreal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

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