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'Heartbreaking': Bordeaux in shock as longtime mayor Alain Juppé quits

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'Heartbreaking': Bordeaux in shock as longtime mayor Alain Juppé quits
Photo: AFP
11:54 CET+01:00
The longtime mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppé, who is credited with transforming the south western city, left locals in shock this week after announcing he was moving on.

Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux and former prime minister, announced to great surprise this week he will leave his post one year before the end of his third consecutive term.

In an unexpected move, the 73-year-old political heavyweight has been revealed as the replacement for Socialist Lionel Jospin on the French Constitutional Council - the country's highest constitutional authority.

Officially announcing his resignation in Bordeaux City Hall, Juppé described leaving his role as "heartbreaking". 
 
"I made the decision not to run for re-election in March 2020, (...) I had planned to announce this after the European elections."
 
Juppé also admitted he had "so many projects in mind for Bordeaux" and compared his relationship with the city to that of "an old couple".

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Juppé served as prime minister under President Jacques Chirac and the popular politician is considered a hero by many in Bordeaux, a city he has progressively transformed.

Juppé aimed to make Bordeaux the capital of the southwest and an international hub to rival other cities in France.

He installed a tramway, making it very accessible for both locals and tourists. During his watch a new two hour high-speed train link to Paris was built, making it a viable commute. Although some locals were left angry after seeing themselves priced out of the booming property market.

Under his leadership, it was voted the best place to work in France in 2014 and it was also deemed the best city in France for bio-diversity.

Bordeaux is regularly ranked as one of the most desirable cities to live in France for quality of life and Parisians dream of moving there according to regular polls.

Juppé himself was even judged the best mayor in France in a 2015 poll in French magazine L'Express.

He is regarded as a unifying politician, bridging the left and the right. During his three terms as mayor, Juppé has taken pride in connecting directly with his community.

 

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