For the first time in history, an Israeli citizen will serve in the French
The second and final round of the elections to the National
Assembly is being held on Sunday.
Either Israeli candidate Valerie
Hoffenberg, representing the UMP, the center-right party of former president
Nicolas Sarkozy, or Israeli candidate Daphna Poznanski- Benhamou, who is a
member of the Socialist Party of President François Hollande, will be elected to
the eighth voting district. The new district represents French citizens who live
outside of French territory in Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta,
Saint-Marin, the Vatican and Turkey.
The two Israeli women are the only
candidates who made it to the second round.
A third candidate, Philippe
Karsenty, won the majority of Israeli votes in the first round, but did not
garner enough votes for the region as a whole to continue on.
Israel has the largest French population among
these countries, more than 60,000. The first round of elections outside of
French territory was held on June 3, one week before the first round in France.
On Sunday, voters both in metropolitan France and overseas will go to the polls.
Dual citizens will get 11 seats, out of the total of 577.
was supported by the UMP, called in an email to Israeli voters not to support
Hoffenberg, since she was “one of the main obstacles to the revelation of the
al- Dura affair in France,” a “battle” that he promised to continue against
France 2 TV and its correspondent in Israel, Charles Enderlin.
supports Poznanski- Benhamou, he said, in order “to help the Socialist Party be
independent of the extremist parties,” referring to the extreme
Hollande and his Socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault should
gain an absolute majority on Sunday, despite a smear campaign marked by gossip
about the prime minister’s girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler. On Twitter last
Tuesday, Trierweiler called for voters in La Rochelle to vote for Socialist
challenger Olivier Falorni, who is running against Hollande’s ex-companion,
Socialist Segolene Royal, in a runoff for a National Assembly
According to polls, this affair will have no impact on the
elections, and the Socialist Party will not need the parties further to the
left, the Left Front and the Green party, to get its legislative agenda passed
in the parliament.
The crisis of the euro zone may require unpopular
measures with support from leftwing allies, whose positions on Europe are far
from those of the Socialist Party.
If Hollande and Ayrault win an
absolute majority, they will be able to follow through on the promises they made
during their campaign, for widespread social and economic changes seen as
crucial for the future of both France and Europe.
The UMP refused any
deal with the Socialist Party in order to bar the way to the extreme Right,
including the National Front. After the elections, the UMP will need to choose a
new leader after Sarkozy.
According to a poll conducted by the IPSOS
Institute, the Socialists could win between 298 and 331 seats (289 are needed
for an absolute majority) and the UMP is estimated to garner between 210 and 250
seats, its worst in 30 years.