Socialists to put forward immigrant candidates

9th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 9 (AFP) - France's opposition Socialist Party intends to put forward immigrant candidates in the next legislative elections in 2007 as an anti-discrimination measure aimed at addressing the underlying problems of the current unrest, a leading MP with the party said Wednesday.

PARIS, Nov 9 (AFP) - France's opposition Socialist Party intends to put forward immigrant candidates in the next legislative elections in 2007 as an anti-discrimination measure aimed at addressing the underlying problems of the current unrest, a leading MP with the party said Wednesday.

Jack Lang, a former government minister who is seeking to be the Socialists' candidate for presidential elections to be held the same year, told journalists that a future Socialist government would aim for a cabinet with diverse backgrounds.

Sociologists and residents in the tough urban areas that have exploded into violence over the past two weeks have said that the youths behind the unrest
-- mostly from Arab and African immigrant families -- had very few role models in French society.

Political and media figures are almost exclusively white French people, with the number of black or Arab faces well below the proportion they represent in French society, estimated at least 10 percent.

Lang told the Anglo-American Press Association that he favoured "positive discrimination", a practice implemented in the United States and other countries whereby underrepresented minorities have easier access to jobs.

He called for a national reconstruction program that would be modelled on the 'New Deal' in the United States or postwar recovery efforts, and said the left-wing opposition would press for a wide-ranging plan to achieve "territorial equality" between rich and poor areas.

The plan would improve opportunities for immigrants and other economically disadvantaged groups in housing, education, employment and health care, but Lang said any action must be general and not focused on individual religious or ethnic groups.

That idea has also been proposed by interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, an ambitious conservative politician who also intends to run for president.

Recent public opinion polls show both Lang and Sarkozy to be more popular than current conservative President Jacques Chirac.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article