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French health minister to run for Paris mayor after candidate quits over sex scandal

EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON
French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn issues a statement to media outside the Health Ministry in Paris, France, 16 February 2020. Buzyn will take the candidacy for La Republique En Marche (LaREM) party, replacing former candidat Benjamin Griveaux who dropped his candidacy in the Paris municipal elections on 14 February over publication of sexual imagery allegedly related to him on social media.

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France’s health minister Agnes Buzyn was named on Sunday as a new candidate for mayor of Paris, after the original candidate suddenly quit following a leak of sex videos on social media.
French president Emmanuel Macron suffered a setback just two days earlier when one of his closest lieutenants, Benjamin Griveaux, pulled out of the race to become mayor, after it was alleged he sent sexual videos to a woman who is not his wife. The videos were published on social media by Pyotr Pavlensky, a controversial Russian performance artist, who claimed responsibility for the leaks.
The presidential Elysee Palace quickly named Olivier Veran, a lawmaker and a doctor, as a replacement for Buzyn as the next health minister.
“I am doing this with my heart, with commitment. I’m doing it to win,” Buzyn said shortly after being named the governing party contender. On Friday, however, she said she would refuse to take Griveaux’s place, as she vowed to fight the deadly coronavirus from China, which has sickened 11 people and killed one in France.
Analysts called the move “mission impossible”. Rival parties blamed Buzyn for “abandoning” her ministerial post amid a health crisis.
Meanwhile, Pavlensky and his girlfriend, who is reportedly the person to whom Griveaux sent the explicit videos, were arrested on charges of invasion of privacy and publishing images of a sexual nature without consent.

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