- Title: Former soccer player Dhorasoo hopes to score mayorship at Paris district
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - FEBRUARY 27, 2019) (REUTERS) DHORASOO KICKING BALL INTO GOAL WITH CHILDREN AROUND
- Keywords: France SacrÃ© Coeur Vikash Dhorasoo campaign elections municipal elections soccer
- Reuters ID: LVA005C4VWCW7
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE / HAMELIN, GERMANY
- City: PARIS, FRANCE / HAMELIN, GERMANY
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:00:08
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Story Text: Vikash Dhorasoo is not your usual candidate for a local election in France, but the ex-French soccer international is out on the streets campaigning to become mayor in one of Paris' more popular districts to send a message that politics can change.
Voters will head to the polls this weekend to begin choosing mayors for 35,000 town halls and almost half a million councillors at a time when scepticism in the political elite has never been greater.
The election has become crucial for President Emmanuel Macron as he enters the last two years of his presidency after a wave of protests over the last year, first from the "yellow vests" movement and now from those opposed to his plans to streamline the French pensions scheme.
In the capital's 18th district, best-known for the Sacre-Coeur basilica which sits atop Montmartre, Dhorasoo, a 46-year-old former Paris St. Germain player, is vying to become the local mayor for the far-left La France Insoumise party.
"Football is a sort of passport. Often we came from working-class neighbourhoods, sometimes we came from immigration and then we changed social class," he told Reuters on Thursday (March 12).
"I think people have had enough of old politics and want new faces. Normal people have the right to be in politics."
France's municipal elections traditionally garner a higher turnout with local politicians often considered in a better light than their national counterparts as they are considered more in touch with what's going on in people's everyday lives.
Handing out fliers and wandering through the local market, Dhorasoo's past clearly helps stoke interest among voters even if at times they are a little bemused to see him talking about the environment or how the district has been abandoned in recent years.
(Production: Noemie Olive, John Irish)
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