Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has won re-election and will oversee the 2024 Summer Olympics in the French capital. Her second term will run until 2026. Hidalgo, who has been mayor since 2014, defeated conservative candidate Rachida Dati in France’s municipal elections, winning 50.2 percent of the vote compared to Dati’s 32 percent.
Agnes Buzyn, who was backed by French President Emmanuel Macron’s party, claimed 16 percent. Hidalgo was pivotal in helping Paris win the 2024 bid, following three failed attempts by the French capital over the previous 25 years. As co-president of Paris’s 2024 bid along with Tony Estanguet, she repeatedly branded the project as greener and less costly than previous Olympic Games.
Paris was officially elected as the 2024 host city on September 13, 2017 at the 131st IOC Session in Lima, Peru. The election was essentially a formality following a tripartite agreement that was struck between the IOC, and the Paris and Los Angeles bids at a Lausanne Extraordinary Session in July 2017.
It would seem that much of Hidalgo’s second term will be defined by how well she is able to guide ongoing preparations for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics through an economic crisis perpetuated by COVID-19.
The 61-year-old Socialist Party member, who is supported by the Europe Ecological Green Party (EELV) and the Communists, made tackling climate change and pollution the key elements of her election campaign. After her victory was announced on Sunday night, Hidalgo said voters had chosen to make Paris more “ecological, social and humanist”.
“You have chosen hope, teamwork, a Paris that can breathe, that is better to live in, shows more solidarity and that leaves nobody to fall by the wayside,” said Hidalgo, the 14th mayor of the French capital.
Since her election in 2014, Hidalgo has worked to make the city more ecologically friendly, mostly by reducing car traffic, encouraging the use of bikes and starting a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
Hidalgo’s victory came in an election hampered by the coronavirus pandemic as many citizens stayed away from polling stations. The second round of the municipal elections, which had initially been postponed from March due to the crisis, produced a record low turnout. Only 40 percent of voters cast ballots in the elections held across France, all doing so in-person as mail-in voting isn’t legal in the country. The 2024 Olympics will mark the 100-year anniversary since Paris last held the Games in 1924.