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France Paris Elections Local government Anne Hidalgo Socialist Party UMP Mayor Bertrand Delanoë

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Paris mayoral hopeful makes election appeal to foreign residents

Anne Hidalgo speaking in English in a video appeal to foreigners to vote in local elections on Sunday. Screen capture/YouTube

Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist candidate bidding to become the first female mayor of Paris, has broadcast videos in English and three other languages to rally foreigners to vote on Sunday’s local elections. The videos, however, were a little difficult to understand.

Opinion polls show Hidalgo, who has been the deputy to outgoing mayor Bertrand Delanoë since 2001, has a slight edge over conservative rival Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, another woman aiming for Paris’s top job.

Under European law, EU citizens can vote in local elections in France, so Hidalgo posted short videos in English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

“On Sunday, you are deciding the future of Paris,” she said in a heavy French accent. “I’m counting on you. Vote in your district for a Paris that dares,” she continued, although the last word was a little hard to decipher. "Paris that dares" is Hidalgo's campaign slogan.

The video, posted below, was aimed “at the British living in Paris”.

The local elections across France are the first major test for the Socialist party of President François Hollande, who has the lowest approval rating of any French leader in history.

Hidalgo has been seeking to distance herself from national politics, but stuck with mostly core Socialist ideas, promising council housing on Avenue Foch in Paris’s exclusive 16th district, and no new taxes during her first term in office.