Genocide recognition champion Anne Hidalgo to become Paris mayor

Genocide recognition champion Anne Hidalgo to become Paris mayor

PanARMENIAN.Net - Anne Hidalgo, the candidate of France's ruling Socialist Party, will be the first female mayor of Paris after winning municipal elections in the French capital on Sunday, March 31, exit polls indicated, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hidalgo, 54, the number two to current mayor Bertrand Delanoe, claimed 54.5 percent of second round votes in the capital, comfortably beating her centre-right rival, former government minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (45.5 percent), the polls suggested.

Earlier, Ms Hidalgo named Turkey's recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a precondition for Ankara's accession to the EU.

"The recognition will make Turkey stronger," she said.

Ms Hidalgo further expressed support for adoption of the Genocide denial law, further referring to President Hollande's pledge to work out a legal instrument that won't meet the ban of the Constitutional Court.

"Denial of tragic pages of history is what prevents building a new future," she said.

Ms Hidalgo vowed to perpetuate the April 24 commemorative events if elected a mayor, with Paris Mayor's Office to extend financial support to the Genocide centennial events in 2015.

On January 23, 2012 the French Senate passed the bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged a 45,000 euro fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire. However, the French Constitutional Council ruled the bill as anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document represented an “unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom of expression and communication

Later, President Hollande pledged to redraft the law criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in France, stressing the need to ensure the legal framework to avoid censorship by the Constitutional Council.

Photo: EPA
The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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