Bertrand Delanoë: Wikis


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Bertrand Delanoë

Assumed office 
25 March 2001
Preceded by Jean Tiberi

Senator for Paris
In office
24 September 1995 – 27 March 2001

Member of the French National Assembly
for Paris (26th constituency)
In office
21 June 1981 – 1 April 1986
Preceded by Joël Le Tac
Succeeded by Alain Juppé

Born 30 May 1950 (1950-05-30) (age 59)
Tunis, French Tunisia
Nationality French
Political party Socialist Party

Bertrand Delanoë (born 30 May 1950; French pronunciation: [bɛʁtʁɑ̃ dəlanɔ.e]  ( listen)) is a French politician, and has been the mayor of Paris since 2001. He is from the Socialist Party (PS). He is considered to be a potential candidate for President of the French Republic in 2012.[1]

Delanoë was born in Tunis, Tunisia to a French-Tunisian father and a French mother. He moved to France with his family in his teens.


Early life

Bertrand Delanoë was born 30 May 1950 in Tunis, to an atheist father (a land surveyor) and a Roman Catholic mother (a nurse).[2] At 6 years old, Delanoë became a member of the "Petits Chanteurs des Sables", a choral group associated with the Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois.[3]

At the age of 11, Delanoë witnessed the battle of Bizerte[4].

After the military base was closed in 1963, Delanoë's family broke up. His mother came to live in Rodez (Aveyron), with her son. After leaving school, Delanoë is said to have started studies in law at the University of Toulouse. The Who's Who in French lists him as having a diploma in economics [5].


Early political career

Delanoë has been involved in politics since the age of twenty-three as the secretary of the Socialist federation in Aveyron.

He was first elected to the Paris city council in 1977. In 1993, he became the head of the city's Socialist Party.

In 1995, he was elected to the French Senate, where he was secretary of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Mayor of Paris

Delanoë has been mayor of Paris since 18 March 2001, when control of the city council was won by a left-wing alliance for the first time since the 1871 Paris Commune. His predecessors were Jean Tiberi (1995–2001), and Jacques Chirac (1977–95), who resigned after 18 years as mayor when he was elected president of France.

Delanoë won the mayorship of Paris, at the head of a coalition of Socialists, Greens and Communists, over the conservative candidates Jean Tiberi and Philippe Séguin, who were unable to resolve their differences and thereby split the conservative vote. This success in a city which has traditionally been a stronghold of the right was made all the more striking by setbacks to the Left in the 2001 elections that occurred more generally — has been partially attributed with the weariness of the Parisian public with respect to various scandals of corruption and graft in the preceding administrations (see corruption scandals in the Paris region).

Delanoë was virtually unknown before the election of 2001, but soon gained fame for organising new and unusual events in Paris, such as the "Paris Beach" (Paris Plage) on the banks of the Seine every summer in order to give Parisians who could not take a regular vacation a chance to relax, sunbathe and build sandcastles in the center of Paris. The program, especially popular with families with children, has been in place since 2002, and has since been copied by many other international cities.

Since becoming mayor, Delanoë's goals have been to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, and cut down on vehicle traffic within the city (including a plan for a non-polluting tramway to ease Parisian traffic) and pedestrian malls. Recently he has helped introduce a new program called Vélib' (a portmanteau of “vélo" and "libre” meaning "free bicycles") which gives Parisians access to inexpensive rental bicycles which are available in stations all around Paris. The program has been enormously successful despite the fact that it still has a few logistical problems to be worked out.[6] He has outlined a plan for an autolib, whereby small cars would be shared.[7]

He was reelected in 2008 (57.7%) for a new six-year-term (2008-2014).

In 2009, he strongly criticized statements by Pope Benedict XVI, which were of the effect that condom use was unhelpful or even counter-productive in the fight against AIDS.[8]

Assassination attempt

He was stabbed on 5 October 2002 during the Nuit Blanche, a night of festivities in Paris, while mingling with the public. His assailant, Azedine Berkane, reportedly told police that "he hated politicians, the Socialist Party, and homosexuals". Before being taken to hospital, Delanoë ordered that the festivities continue. Delanoë's wound was reported not to be life-threatening and he left the hospital after about two weeks.[9] Azedine Berkane was eventually permitted to leave the psychiatric hospital where he had been a patient after his doctors no longer considered him a threat. However, in early April, 2007, he failed to keep a scheduled appointment with his doctors, and has not been seen since.[10]

Olympic bid

The failure to secure the 2012 Summer Olympics for Paris on 6 July 2005 was Delanoë's first major setback as mayor. In the aftermath of the defeat in his Olympic bid, he accused British prime minister Tony Blair of unduly influencing the result in order to secure the games in London. However, Bertrand Delanoë's popularity in fact rose during July 2005 [11]. The French public appeared to have laid more of the blame on President Jacques Chirac, who allegedly said that "the only worse food than British food is Finnish" and "the only thing the British have done for Europe's agriculture is mad cow disease", which may have offended two Finnish members of the International Olympic Committee.

Potential presidential bid

Delanoë has been said to be considering challenging current president Sarkozy in the Presidential election in 2012. However, this plan suffered a setback in November 2008 when he lost the race for the party leadership to Lille mayor Martine Aubry.[7]

Fake New York Times letter

The New York Times published a letter on December 22, 2008 that Delanoë supposedly wrote, criticizing the candidacy of Caroline Kennedy for Hillary Clinton's New York Senate seat. The newspaper later admitted it was a fake.[12]

Personal life

Delanoë was one of the first major French politicians to announce that he was gay, during a 1998 television interview (before being elected mayor).[13][14] His election made Paris the world's largest city with an openly LGBT mayor, although since it has become the second largest. Of the largest three, all have taken office since 2001; previously, the largest city with an LGBT mayor had been Winnipeg, Canada, in former mayor Glen Murray (1998-2004).

Delanoë is not known for taking an active part in the gay and lesbian community, but he has helped end discrimination in municipal subsidies to civic groups. Political opponents argue though that such choices are just a new example of clientelism.

Political career

Electoral mandates

National Assembly of France

Member of the National Assembly of France for Paris : 1981-1986. Elected in 1981.

Senate of France

Senator of Paris : 1995-2001 (Resignation).

Municipal Council

Mayor of Paris : Since 2001. Reelected in 2008.

Councillor of Paris : Since 1977. Reelected in 1983, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2008.

See also


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Tiberi
Mayor of Paris
Succeeded by

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