Genocide recognition champion Anne Hidalgo to become Paris mayor -
Anne Hidalgo, the candidate of France's ruling Socialist Party, will be the first female mayor of Paris after winning municipal elections in the French capital on Sunday, March 31, exit polls indicated, according to Agence France-Presse.
Hidalgo, 54, the number two to current mayor Bertrand Delanoe, claimed 54.5 percent of second round votes in the capital, comfortably beating her centre-right rival, former government minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (45.5 percent), the polls suggested.
Earlier, Ms Hidalgo named Turkey's recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a precondition for Ankara's accession to the EU.
"The recognition will make Turkey stronger," she said.
Ms Hidalgo further expressed support for adoption of the Genocide denial law, further referring to President Hollande's pledge to work out a legal instrument that won't meet the ban of the Constitutional Court.
"Denial of tragic pages of history is what prevents building a new future," she said.
Ms Hidalgo vowed to perpetuate the April 24 commemorative events if elected a mayor, with Paris Mayor's Office to extend financial support to the Genocide centennial events in 2015.
On January 23, 2012 the French Senate passed the bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire. However, the French Constitutional Council ruled the bill as anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document represented an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication
Later, President Hollande pledged to redraft the law criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in France, stressing the need to ensure the legal framework to avoid censorship by the Constitutional Council.