Fake votes mar France’s first electronic election
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, already enfeebled by a chaotic national leadership election last year, faces further ridicule in a Paris town hall primary election which ends tonight.
An “online-primary”, claimed as “fraud-proof” and “ultra secure”, has turned out to be vulnerable to multiple and fake voting. The four-day election has also the exposed the poisonous divisions created within the centre-right Union Pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) by the law permitting gay marriage which took effect last week.
France’s first “electronic election” had been expected to anoint a rising star of the moderate right, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, 39, as the party’s candidate in the election for mayor of Paris next spring. The former environment minister, known as “NKM”, was runaway favourite to win in the first round until she abstained in the final parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage in late April.
Several hard-right figures within the party have since urged militant opponents of gay marriage to swamp the open primary with votes for a relatively, obscure, young Paris city councillor, Pierre-Yves Bournazel, 35. Although Mr Bournazel has been “gay-friendly” in the past, he has emerged – cynically, say his critics – as a standard bearer for the virulent right-wing opposition to the new law.
What was already shaping up as a tense and close election was thrown into utter confusion at the weekend. Journalists from the news site Metronews proved that it was easy to breach the allegedly strict security of the election and vote several times using different names.
To register their vote on-line, Parisians were supposed to make a credit-card payment of €3 and give the name and address of someone on the city’s electoral roll. Metronews said that one of its journalists had managed to vote five times, paying with the same credit card, using names, including that of Nicolas Sarkozy.
The discovery generated an explosion of name-calling within the party and calls by Mr Bournazel for the primary to be abandoned. After a three-hour crisis meeting on Saturday, the Paris federation of the UMP decided to press ahead but imposed a vow of silence on all four candidates until the first round of voting ends at 7pm this evening. Last November, the UMP almost split amid allegations of ballot-stuffing and other dirty tricks in an election to replace Nicolas Sarkozy as the national party president.
The narrowly defeated candidate, the former Prime Minister, François Fillon, accused the winner, the party secretary general, Jean-Francois Copé of “fraud on an industrial scale”.
Mr Cope “won” by a handful of votes after hundreds of overseas ballots were inexplicably left out of the final count. President François Hollande’s Socialist party sprang joyfully on the main opposition’s party’s new embarrassment yesterday.
The first secretary of the Parti Socialiste, Harlem Desiré said that the UMP Paris primary was shaping up as an “absolute fiasco”.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...