Pierre Albertini, former Mayor of Rouen

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Pierre Albertini
former Mayor of Rouen, France
By Andrew Stevens

19 February 2008: Born in the Algerian city of Batna in 1944, Rouen’s mayor Pierre Albertini turfed out a socialist incumbent in 2001, having worked as a professor of law in the city and as a member of the French National Assembly on behalf of the centrist Union for French Democracy, as well as acting as mayor for a neighbouring town for many years. In spite of his centrist affiliations, he is known for adopting socially conservative positions on a number of issues.

Update: Pierre Albertini was defeated in local elections held on 9 March 2008.

Albertini was elected mayor of Rouen in 2001, defeating the Socialist Party (PS) list of Yvon Robert, who had been elected in 1995. He was first elected in 1983 as mayor for the neighbouring commune of Mont-Saint-Aignan (part of the Rouen agglomération), a mandate he held until his election to the Rouen mayoralty in 2001. In 1993 he was elected to the National Assembly for the Seine-Maritime constituency on behalf of the centrist Union for French Democracy (UDF) and received another national mandate in 2001. Albertini’s party within the UDF was the Popular Party for French Democracy, formed by supporters of former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, which included several members of the right-wing governments of Edouard Balladur and Alain Juppé, including future prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. He also served as Vice President of the Haute-Normandie Regional Council between 1992 and 1994.

Albertini did not contest the 2007 parliamentary elections and chose not to join the successor party to the UDF, Francois Bayrou’s Democratic Movement (MoDem). He also chose not to join the pro-Sarkozy New Centre grouping upon the dissolution of the UDF, but did support its candidate as his successor to parliament and was the first UDF deputy to support Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of the 2007 presidential elections.

As a member of the National Assembly in 1998, Albertini was vocally opposed to the Jospin government’s introduction of the same sex union Pacte civil de solidarité (PACS), to which he said “I am absolutely opposed to anything that might give the status of respectability to homosexual couples.” He also signed a petition of mayors opposed to the introduction of PACS. In addition, he also opposed efforts to introduce a day of remembrance for those killed in the Algerian and Tunisian wars of independence and to reform France’s laws on abortion and contraception.

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