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The man with the spider brooch who could cost Macron Paris

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on January 27, 2020 - Duration: 01:37s

The man with the spider brooch who could cost Macron Paris

Cedric Villani, a mathematician and former Macron loyalist, is gaining support in the Paris mayoral election campaign.

But polls suggest he's more likely to cost Macron's party victory than gain the support needed to win himself.

Joe Davies reports.

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The man with the spider brooch who could cost Macron Paris

In Paris, campaigning in the French capital's mayoral election is in full swing.

And Cedric Villani, a mathematician by trade, is hoping to cause a stir.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FRENCH MATHEMATICIAN AND PARIS MAYORAL CANDIDATE, CEDRIC VILLANI, SAYING: "Nowadays, the world is complex.

Politics needs science more than ever.

Knowledge of science is an advantage, but also the knowledge of the complexity of the world, and politics definitely needs fresh air." He remains a long shot to become the new mayor of Paris in March.

But he could frustrate efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron's party to claim the mayor's office - one of the biggest prizes in French politics - by splitting the vote of Macron supporters and handing the mayoralty to someone else.

The two men have history.

Villani used to be a Macron loyalist.

In 2017 he became a member of parliament with Macron's party.

But Villani rebelled when Macron's party chose Benjamin Griveaux instead of him to be its candidate for mayor.

If elected, Villani says he will invest five billion euros in a green programme, and shift the terminus for long-distance trains out of central Paris.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FRENCH MATHEMATICIAN AND PARIS MAYORAL CANDIDATE, CEDRIC VILLANI, SAYING: "Paris in the future has to be a quiet city in the sense that it will not be aggressive for you.

It has to be handled and organised in a rational way.

It also has to look brightly, with ambition, to the future, invent new technologies, new ways of realising the environmental transition, new ways of democracy." The man with the signature spider brooch is gaining support.

But the polls suggest the former mathematician is more likely to cost Macron victory than gain the number of supporters he needs to win himself.

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