IOC boss Thomas Bach says snap elections in France won’t impact the Paris Olympics

PARIS (AP) — The snap national election called by French President Emmanuel Macron will not impact the Paris Olympics, IOC president Thomas Bach said on Monday.

Bach said the Paris Games have always had broad support across the French political spectrum and added, “I have no indications whatsoever that this unity will break now, just … before the Games open.”

The French legislative elections will take place in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, three weeks before the July 26 opening ceremony in central Paris that will include a floating parade of athletes on the River Seine.

Macron dissolved the lower house of France’s parliament in a surprise announcement on Sunday after his centrist party was handed a humbling defeat by the far right in elections for the European Union parliament.

Despite the political uncertainty, Bach said any election was part of a “democratic process that’s not going to disturb the Games.”

“France is used to holding elections and they will do it once again. There will be a new parliament, a new government, and everybody will support the Olympic Games.”

Bach spoke while touring a Parisian middle school decorated with an Olympic theme alongside Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, and Paris organizing committee president Tony Estanguet, who was equally unfazed by the political developments.

“There have been a dozen elections since we became candidates to host the Olympics,” Estanguet said. “Regardless of who is in charge, we have always been able to work with the political authorities.”

Oudéa-Castéra, the sports minister who could be replaced by the time the Games get underway, said politicians should set aside their differences and unite behind the Olympics.

“We have waited a century for these Games,” Oudéa-Castéra said. “It’s crucial that our country takes care of its image and the message it sends to the world at a time when it is welcoming athletes from all over the globe.”


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