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16.02.2020 Europe

Health minister to run for mayor of Paris, after sex tape release forces Griveaux out

By David Roe with RFI
AFP/Jacques Demarthon
LISTEN FEB 16, 2020
AFP/Jacques Demarthon

French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said Sunday she had been chosen by the ruling party to run for mayor of Paris, replacing Benjamin Griveaux, the candidate toppled by a leaked sex video.

"I'm going for it with the aim of winning," Buzyn told French news agency AFP.

A ruling party source confirmed that she was quitting the government to launch her campaign and would be replaced in the coming hours.

Griveaux, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron, pulled out of the race on Friday over a video posted online which showed a man masturbating, along with racy text messages sent to a woman.

His departure left Macron's Republic on the Move (LREM) party scrambling to find a replacement candidate for Paris mayor, just a month before the vote.

A haemotologist who entered politics after Macron's election 2017 Buzyn is seen as one of the stronger performers in government.

She faces a stiff challenge to close the gap with incumbent Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is leading in the polls.

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