Four new elected officials (out of five), including two Greens and, for the first time in the City of Geneva, a majority of women. The Administrative Council, which left the polls on Tuesday, has its share of novelties, in tune with a strange second round marked by the coronavirus, which will have deprived the candidates of a campaign in the street and slowed down the count.
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From June 1, Sami Kanaan will be joined at Palais Eynard by his socialist colleague Christina Kitsos, environmentalists Frédérique Perler and Alfonso Gomez, as well as by PDC Marie Barbey-Chappuis, according to the order of arrival. Disunited, the left of the left will no longer be represented there for the first time in fifty years.
Without alliance on the right
What does not change, however, is the balance of power within the college. The same at work since 1999: four magistrates from the left and only one from (center) right. While fighting for its survival at the Municipal, the PDC performed a small miracle by saving the seat currently held by Guillaume Barazzone. The duel between the two former allies of the Entente bourgeoise turned in favor of Marie Barbey-Chappuis. Distanced by 500 votes in the first round by Simon Brandt, the Christian Democrat made up for lost time, finally obtaining 1,500 more votes than the PLR.
The city councilor benefited from the calls to vote for her which multiplied during the inter-turn. Many leftist politicians, like Socialist Mayor Sandrine Salerno, considered her “more collegial” than Simon Brandt. But Marie Barbey-Chappuis also won over part of the right-wing electorate. Witness his successes in liberal-radical strongholds, like Champel or Cité-Rive, which Simon Brandt had nevertheless won on March 15.
History for the Greens
The day after the first round, the PLR defended the creation of an alliance with the UDC and the MCG to counter the logic of the blocs imposed by the left. Faced with the PDC’s refusal, he finally bet to go alone. “If Madame Barbey-Chappuis had accepted a broad alliance on the right, there would be two right-wing elected members of the Administrative Council. But she preferred to ally herself in the submarine with the left rather than with people with whom she has worked for five years, “laments Simon Brandt, who will continue to sit in the Municipal.
The left – not “radical” – is undoubtedly the big winner of the municipal elections. The pink-green ticket “worked very well”, congratulates Sami Kanaan, author of the highest score among the candidates. The socialist sees in his three running mate “a team that knows each other, united and which will be able to take up the challenges” which await him, in particular on the front of after Covid-19.
The Greens will have two elected officials. It is also a first in the City. “By being two, we will be able to impose our ecological transition program all the more,” said Frédérique Perler. The MP has never hidden her ambition to take over the Department of Constructions and Planning, the only one where the Greens can “really change people’s lives”, as she said when she was appointed by her section, a year ago. “But this is a discussion that will have to be conducted within the new Executive,” she adds. Sami Kanaan could leave Culture and Sports to take over Finance, while Christina Kitsos says she is interested in the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity.
Majority at the Municipal
Unlike the previous two legislatures, the executive will have some leeway. Socialists and Greens are now the two most important forces in the City Council. Together, they will be able to rely on 37 elected officials (out of 80) and will have the possibility of easily forming a majority with, as desired, Ensemble à Gauche (EàG, 7 elected officials) or the PDC (8 elected officials) through its new magistrate. “Marie Barbey-Chappuis is a collegial personality, argues Sami Kanaan. It’s not about agreeing on everything, but she’s able to work as a team and we need that. ”
The maintenance of the PDC headquarters and the arrival of a second Green elected official came at the expense of the left from the left. A political cataclysm. It’s been half a century that it has a magistrate in the City. It even counted two at the dawn of the 2000s. André Hédiger and Christian Ferrazino were then elected despite internal divisions. Not this time. Neither Maria Pérez (Party of Labor), nor Pierre Bayenet (Together on the Left, SolidaritéS-DAL) will take up the seat that Rémy Pagani leaves vacant.
Let’s divide internal
“The absence of a common list of the combative left and the choice of the PS and the Greens not to make an alliance with EàG weighed heavily,” recognizes the SolidaritéS-DAL component. These divisions, which took a judicial turn, enabled the PS and the Greens not to have to “choose” between the two lists and to favor a ticket formed only by their candidates. But for Sami Kanaan, the left of the left is “solely responsible” for his eviction. “Last summer already, we told them that they absolutely had to overcome their divisions. They had enough to keep their seat, “he said.
Representatives of the radical left announce that they will continue their fight, “and even in the street”, like Maria Pérez. The PdT candidate achieved an excellent score for the Executive, but will no longer even sit in the Municipal, her party having not obtained a quorum. Like a symbol.
“I followed my values”
The coveted fifth place on the Administrative Council is for her. Marie Barbey-Chappuis managed to keep the PDC seat in the City, ahead of the PLR Simon Brandt by 1,500 votes. After a tense campaign, the elected official wants to restore serenity to municipal politics.
Marie Barbey-Chappuis, how do you explain your result?
I stayed true to my center-right values, and tried to run a constructive and unifying campaign. My position was clear (note: refusal of the alliance of an enlarged right). I am touched to see that she carried me to the Executive.
Do you fear grudges from the right after the PLR’s defeat?
I understand the disappointment of Simon Brandt and I have a thought for him. I want to work in a constructive spirit: I have always been attached to the Agreement and I will remain so in my new duties. Our City needs a return to serenity, after very turbulent years.
The only right-wing elected representative at the Town Hall, will you be able to pass on your projects?
I’m a center-right woman, I’ve always been clear about this and I will take it upon myself. But I will work collegially. I am attached to institutions and their proper functioning.
Are you targeting a particular dicastery?
We need to discuss it all together and be ready to take on any department: there are beautiful objects in each of them. I have invested a lot in recent years in planning or early childhood, but the main thing will be to find the right balance between everyone’s wishes and skills.
Can you stand out from your current boss, State Councilor Serge Dal Busco?
I have always separated my professional career from politics. I never took advantage of my work to put myself forward. What people have praised today is my work for the past twelve years on City Council.
What do you say to those who believe that this second round should be postponed and that its elected officials are illegitimate?
This fear does not seem to me to be founded. The participation rate was only two points below the usual rate.
The first step you are going to take in connection with the Covid-19 crisis?
My priority is to work in close collaboration with the Canton to support cultural, sporting and economic actors and help them recover from the current crisis.
Created: 07.04.2020, 21.58