The former Minister of Health will defend the LREM colours in Paris after Benjamin Griveaux’s withdrawal. A tough fight against two other women: Anne Hidalgo on the left and Rachida Dati on the right.
It took a heavyweight from the government to take over and make people forget Benjamin Griveaux’s sextape. After two days of reflection and hesitation waltzing around, it is finally the Minister of Health and Solidarity, Agnès Buzyn, 58, who takes the lead of the LREM list in the race for the mayor of Paris on 15 and 22 March 2020.
Weakened by months of social protest, first the Yellow Vests, then the pension reform, the Walkers are experiencing great difficulties in most cities in France.
This was also the case in Paris where Benjamin Griveaux came in third place (with 16%), well behind the outgoing mayor, Anne Hidalgo, the favorite in the first round with 23% of voting intentions (according to an Odoxa poll for Le Figaro) and behind Rachida Dati, head of the Republican list (20%).
It is also true that the mathematician deputy Cédric Villani, former LREM and now unlabelled, garnered 10% of voting intentions. It will also be necessary to count with the EELV list of David Belliard, who takes a little more than 14% of the votes. The other candidates: Serge Federbusch for the RN and Danielle Simonnet for LFI are capped at 4% according to the same poll which places Gaspard Gantzer (without label) at the level of the daisies (2%).
The arrival of Agnès Buzyn in the Parisian competition is a singularly new development. The move is politically clever. For the now ex-Minister of Health was a heavyweight in the government of Edouard Philippe. She is also a woman who will be competing against other women.
A hematologist, university professor, hospital practitioner, she has held many responsibilities in numerous scientific societies related to medicine or nuclear medicine. Minister of Health and Solidarity since 17 May 2017, she will be able to count on the powerful networks she has built up during her career.
Agnès Buzyn is a fighter. And if she’s going to conquer the town hall in the difficult conditions we know, it’s because she doesn’t intend to be an extra in less than a month before the first round of the election. “I’m going there to win,” she says. She also knows that her impromptu arrival in the race will boost the macronist party that has so far been adrift.
On all fronts
But there will be many obstacles in his path. Because Agnes Buzin was on all fronts at the Ministry of Health. Among the hot files she leaves to her successor are hospital emergencies, pension reform, addiction and the coronavirus which has just claimed the first death on French soil. Delicate cases that did not only earn her friendships.
In addition, she was suspected of a conflict of interest with pharmaceutical industry laboratories before 2011. It should be added that Agnès Buzin’s husband, Yves Lévy, was appointed Director General of INSERM on 11 June 2014. However, the renewal of this mandate in 2018 was controversial given Agnès Buzyn’s position as Minister of Health.
She is replaced as Minister of Health by Olivier Véran, 40, a hospital neurologist.