With the entire hullabaloo about the 2007 Presidential elections starting already, one generally over-looked story was the re-election of Alain Juppé as Mayor of Bordeaux last Sunday. After his disgrace of being found guilty of the misuse of public funds, or, should we just say corruption, Alain has made his triumphant return to public life after his self-imposed exile in Quebec.
Elected against the backdrop of one of the lowest voter turn-outs in the last 200 years, there is already talk of his Presidential candidacy, if not in 2007 then quite possibly in 2012. As an ex-Prime Minister and loyal Chirac supporter he has a political pedigree unmatched by Sarko or Dominique. He’d probably be up against Sarko for the nomination if this little scandal hadn’t got in the way.
Actually, it’s not really a little scandal, it’s a big deal – how can the people trust a politician once they have been found guilty of fraud and corruption. Ok, some people would argue that all politicians are of the same ilk, and poor Alain was just one of the unlucky ones who got caught. In fact this was expressed to me by one of Alain’s more trenchant supporters.
My argument is that politicians aren’t above the law and should be held to a higher standard of accountability when public trust and money is at stake. Alain got his sentence reduced on appeal, but the fact is that he was guilty and he has still not apologised for the abuse he committed. His defence was basically that “everyone else was doing it”. I don’t trust him and don’t believe for one moment that he has the interests of the people or even the city of Bordeaux at heart.
He is a career politician who has his sights set on the highest office in the land and it is a shame on France that the ruling class is riddled with similar career orientated politicians. What also irks me is how so-called developed countries like to pretend that Africa is a basket case of corrupt politicians where you can do anything for a fist full of dollars, whilst turning a blind eye to their own nefarious deeds.
Tony Yengeni might be getting 5-star treatment in the chookie, but the difference is that he is in the chookie.
Or Not. OK. Now