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French leader Macron loses his mayoral candidate in Paris

Paris mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux gives a press conference as part of the campaign for the upcoming mayoral elections to be held on March, 15, 2020, in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS — In a heavy blow to French leader Emmanuel Macron, his former government spokesman pulled out of the race to become mayor of Paris on Friday, after French media reports of leaks onto the internet of compromising sexual images.

The sudden withdrawal of Benjamin Griveaux left Macron’s party without a mayoral candidate in the French capital for the municipal elections next month. Paris is the most coveted of France’s municipalities and a political fiefdom that has been used in the past, notably by former French President Jacques Chirac, as a springboard for higher office.

A grim-faced Griveaux announced the withdrawal himself on Friday morning, saying he’d been targeted by “vile attacks” on the internet and social media.

The Associated Press


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