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Two Former Minsters of Moroccan Origin Defeated in 2017 French Legislative Elections

By Safaa Kasraoui

Rabat - Two Moroccan-French politicians from François Hollande's Socialist government, Najat Vallaurd Belkacem and Myriam El Khomri, have lost in the second round of France's 2017 legislative elections held June 18.

Socialist politician Belkacem obtained only 39.68 percent of votes compared to her En Marche opponent Brunno Bornell, who received 60.32 percent of votes.

“After six years of public life and considerable efforts in the service of my country, it is a break that awaits me,” stated Belkacem. She added that “at home [France] political commitment does not depend on a mandate.”

El Khomri received a mere 20.23 percent of votes and was defeated by Pierre-Yves Bournazel, who attained 53.61 percent of votes during the first round.

Belkacem joined the French Socialist Party in 2002 and helped both Ségolène Royal and François Hollande  in their respective 2006 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Both politicians named her as their spokesperson during their campaigns.

Belkacem was the first woman to be appointed Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research during her tenure François Hollande's government. Her appointment had been criticized by many, especially right-wing politicians, due to her dual nationality.

She had been previously appointed Minister of Women’s Rights, Minister of City Affairs, and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Through her political journey, Belkacem has worked to promote citizens' rights and to fight against discrimination.

Born in 1978 in Rabat, El Khomri joined the French Socialist Party in 2002. She took over as the Minister of Labor from September 2015 until May 2017.

El Khomri was twice elected councilor at the Paris City Council and has also worked in the office of the Mayor of Paris. In 2014, El Khomri was assigned Secretary of State to the Minister of Urban Affairs, Youth and Sports, and was responsible for urban policy.

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