Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Black Man is Running for President in France!

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Patrick Lozès, founder and former president of CRAN - the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noirs - is running for president in France!

Patrick Lozès
Photo by Ed Alcock for the NY Times

With his candidacy, he intends to make heard the voices of those in France who are minorities, non-represented, and invisible. He intends to run his campaign as a platform for equality with emphasis on education and the economy.

Lozès is a former member of the national council of the left-wing UDF (Union for French Democracy) party. He founded CRAN, an umbrella organization for numerous black associations in France, in 2005. He has handed over the reins of the organization to former CRAN first vice-president Claudine Tisserand so that he can be free to run without any conflict of interest.

Patrick Lozès; president of CRAN, surrounded by members of the organization
Photo by Martin Bureau AFP

Although census records in France do not report population by ethnic category, Lozès believes that the black population consists of approximately 5 million persons, of which 80% are French citizens. Similarly, the majority of the "Arab-Maghreb" population of 6 million persons is also French. Though his candidacy will undoubtedly appeal to these segments of the population, Lozès says that he intends to campaign among all of France's approximately 61 million citizens. He says that he believes in France, that he has confidence in its values, and that he knows what he "owes to the Republic."

Lozès will be the second black candidate for France's highest elected office. The first was Christiane Taubira, deputy for French Guiana in the National Assembly (analogous to the U.S. House of Representatives), who ran for president in 2002.

France's next presidential election will be held in April 2012.


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