Paris (AFP)

It's time for the last maneuvers before the closure: the candidates for the second round of the municipal elections of June 28 have until Tuesday at the end of the day to deposit their lists, before the launch of a new campaign at the time of coronavirus.

Will there be an agreement between the outgoing PS mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the environmentalists? In Strasbourg, will the Green Jeanne Barseghian finally ally herself with the socialist Catherine Trautmann?

The ax falls at 6:00 p.m., the cut-off time for submitting nomination papers in the prefecture - often by appointment, for health reasons. Only the lists having obtained in the first round on March 15 at least 10% of the votes cast can be maintained.

There will be no alliance for the ex-LREM Cédric Villani, who arrived 5th in Paris in the first round, disappointed with his exchanges with the mayor PS Anne Hidalgo or the LREM candidate Agnès Buzyn. He announced Monday that he would go it alone in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.

The boss of LREM Stanislas Guerini nevertheless wanted "to reunite (his) family". While the presidential movement has made a disappointing first round, it maintains its modest target of 10,000 municipal councilors from its troops.

The latest negotiations are continuing, however, between the teams of Anne Hidalgo, who led the first round, and those of the environmentalist David Belliard. "We are in the detail of the detail," says Emmmanuel Grégoire, campaign manager of the mayor. On the ecological side, it was emphasized Sunday evening that there were still local negotiations on the project in particular.

We must "learn the lessons of this crisis" provoked by the coronavirus, by "the ecological transition in social justice", pleads the national secretary Julien Bayou, who intends to push his advantage after having won high scores in most metropolitan areas in March.

- 5,000 municipalities -

The union was made this weekend in Rennes between the left and environmentalists, comforting the chances of the current PS mayor Nathalie Appéré. Likewise in Nantes, where PS mayor Johanna Rolland leads the race.

The right also wants to continue its momentum and take advantage of its local roots, while the coronavirus crisis has put elected officials on the front line.

In Bordeaux, the LREM candidate Thomas Cazenave finally ranked behind the outgoing mayor LR Nicolas Florian, under an agreement signed Monday evening.

And to keep Marseille, candidate LR Martine Vassal seeks to get closer to dissident Bruno Gilles.

As for the RN, it has already taken over in the first round 8 of the 10 cities it owned but has not won any new ones at this stage. And the game is not won in Perpignan, where his candidate Louis Aliot came in first but finds himself facing a republican front formed on Saturday for the benefit of outgoing LR mayor Jean-Marc Pujol.

The second round is yet to be held in some 5,000 French municipalities, more than three months after the government's decision to postpone the poll due to the epidemic. Some 16 million people will be called to vote, or 39% of the French electorate.

Final lock: the scientific council will have to give a new opinion on health risks around June 13. If he considers that the conditions are no longer met for a second round, there should be a further postponement.

Very strict health rules, including the mandatory wearing of masks, will be imposed at polling stations to avoid the spread of the virus.

It is also a question of preparing for a new collapse in participation. This had dropped to 44.6% in the first round, at the very beginning of the Covid-19 wave. A relaxation of powers of attorney is envisaged.

To bring the French to the polls, candidates will be able to communicate longer than the usual five days between the two rounds. The official campaign will start on Monday June 15.

But no meetings on the program, or door-to-door: activists pull in mailboxes and above all are active on the internet.

© 2020 AFP