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Guest Article: Benoît Battistelli’s Election as Deputy Mayor Was Pre-announced in the Local Press

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last week: Like a Cancer, EPO-Bribed Media Continues to Produce Puff Pieces for Benoît Battistelli

Saint-Germain-en-Laye event

Summary: From the archives of the Municipal Council of Saint-Germain-en-Laye… EPO President Battistelli’s election as deputy mayor was pre-announced in the local press!

AS readers of Techrights will be aware, following the local election last year Monsieur Battistelli was subsequently elected as deputy mayor responsible for cultural affairs by the municipal council of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

“Battistelli was subsequently elected as deputy mayor responsible for cultural affairs by the municipal council of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.”Battistelli’s election to the office of deputy mayor took place during a meeting of the council which was held on 19 October 2017. From the official record of the election [PDF] (file no. 17 G 02) it can be seen that Battistelli was elected with 31 votes in favour and 11 blank or invalid votes.

The minutes of the meeting of 19 October are to be found here. [PDF]

“…it can be seen that Battistelli was elected with 31 votes in favour and 11 blank or invalid votes.”A video recording of the meeting is also available on the website of the municipal council. Note: Click on the link “Elections du 6e Adjoint au Maire” to jump to the relevant section of the video (starting at around 27:37 min. and continuing until 43:36 min. or thereabouts).

For readers not familiar with the local politics of Saint-Germain-en-Laye a short digression may help to clarify the general context. The municipal council is currently controlled by the majority from the political group calling itself “Union pour Saint-Germain” which is basically a local branch of Sarkozy’s UMP party rebranded as “Les Républcains” in 2015.

“A video recording of the meeting is also available on the website of the municipal council.”From 1999 onwards the council was under the control of the mayor Emmanuel Lamy until his death in May 2017.

Lamy was succeeded by Arnaud Péricard, an attorney-at-law, who was elected as mayor in June 2017.

By a curious coincidence Arnaud Péricard is the son of Michel Péricard who held the office of mayor of Saint-Germain from 1977 until his death in 1999 when Lamy took over.

“The municipal council is currently controlled by the majority from the political group calling itself “Union pour Saint-Germain” which is basically a local branch of Sarkozy’s UMP party rebranded as “Les Républcains” in 2015.”Returning now to the council meeting of 19 October 2017, it can be seen from the minutes and video of the meeting that the election of the deputy mayor for cultural affairs was preceded by a rather tense debate during which members from the opposition benches complained that the result of the election had already been announced in advance in the local press.

These objections apparently refer publications such as the one which appeared in the local newspaper “Courrier des Yvelines” on 4 October and contained a sidebar with the title “Benoît Battistelli à la Culture”: “Benoît Battistelli retrouve son poste. Entre 2008 et 2014 il fut maire adjoint de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, chargé de la vie culturelle. Arnaud Pericard l’avait remplacé en 2014. Age de soixante-sept ans, cet ancien élève de l’ENA, diplômé de l’IEP de Paris [Institut d'Etudes Politiques], a assuré la direction générale de l’Institut national de la propriété industrielle (Inpi) (2004). Il avait ete reconduit de la présidence de l’Office européen des brevets (OEB) en 2014 avant de quitter brutalement l’OEB.”

“By a curious coincidence Arnaud Péricard is the son of Michel Péricard who held the office of mayor of Saint-Germain from 1977 until his death in 1999 when Lamy took over.”[Translation: “Benoît Battistelli returns to his post. Between 2008 and 2014 he was deputy mayor of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, in charge of cultural affairs. Arnaud Péricard replaced him in 2014. Sixty-seven years old, this former student of the ENA, graduate of the IEP in Paris, was the general director of the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (Inpi) (2004). He was re-elected as President of the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2014 before abruptly leaving the EPO.”]

CdY - 4-10-2017

Even if the local journalists got their facts wrong about Battistelli “abruptly leaving the EPO” the “prediction” about his return to the post of deputy mayor of in charge of cultural affairs turns out to have been remarkably prescient.

“Mr Rouxel conceded that the mayor had a majority on the municipal council but protested that this incident degraded it to a rubber-stamping body.”At the municipal council meeting on 19 October 2017 the first intervention came from Mr Didier Rouxel from the opposition group “Saint-Germain fait front” who expressed his astonishment at the fact that although that the council was due to vote that evening the result of the vote had already been revealed in the local press on 4 October. Mr Rouxel conceded that the mayor had a majority on the municipal council but protested that this incident degraded it to a rubber-stamping body.

Didier Rouxel

Mr Rouxel’s intervention was followed by a similar objection from Mrs Anne Gommier of the opposition group “Agir pour Saint-Germain” who stated that she considered the pre-emptive publication of the election result to demonstrate a lack of respect for the council as a whole. She called the publication “a nice publicity insert with a resumé” and said in rather diplomatic terms that she considered it “a little too much”.

Anne Gommier

The mayor Arnaud Péricard who is reputed to be a close associate of Battistelli seemed taken aback by these crtiical interventions and he reacted rather defensively. He stated that no one from the majority group “Union pour Saint-Germain” had made any statement to the press and that the publications complained about only contained speculation by journalists. Nevertheless he said that he deeply regretted the incident.

Arnaud Péricard
Arnaud Péricard

After having addressed the objections from Mr Rouxel and Mrs Gommier the mayor proceeded to nominate Battistelli as the candidate for the majority “Union pour Saint-Germain” group. As there were no other candidates Battistelli was elected on the first count with 31 votes in his favor and 11 blank or invalid votes.

Benoît Battistelli

The mayor announced the result and expressed his pleasure at the election of Mr Battistelli and congratulated him on his success. The video shows a smug and self-satisfied Battistelli acknowledging the applause of the council in his typically supercilious manner.

Arnaud Péricard

For readers whose French is rusty here is an English translation of the relevant passage from the minutes of the council meeting:


The Mayor notes that due to the previous election, the position of 6th Deputy Mayor is now vacant.

Here again, he proposes to apply the provisions of Article L.2122-10 of the Code Général des Collectivités Territoriales and to decide that the Municipal Council proceed to filling the vacant positions in the order on the agenda.

The first matter to be dealt with is the election of a new sixth Deputy Mayor to replace Mrs HABERT-DUPUIS.

He asked if there were any nominations and gave the floor to Mr ROUXEL.

Mr ROUXEL notes that he does not wish to apply for the position. He nevertheless expresses his astonishment to note that the Municipal Council is voting this evening, October 19, whereas that the result of this vote had already been revealed in the local press on 4 October. While he admits that the Mayor has a majority within the municipal council, this incident reduces it to a rubber-stamping body. He says he was rather shocked, and thinks he wasn’t the only person who felt this way, by seeing the result announced in the local press on October 4th.

The Mayor states that no one from the Union pour Saint-Germain group made any statement to the press. According to him, these are suppositions – or assertions – by journalists and not statements by elected representatives or representatives of the Union Group for Saint-Germain. He assures that for this matter no delegation order has been signed prior to the results of the vote, and that he really regrets this publication.

Mrs GOMMIER indicated that she intended to make the same intervention because she considered that this publication to show a lack of respect for the council as a whole. She says she doesn’t know where the information came from but recalls that it was a nice publicity insert with a resumé and that it was in her view a little too much.

The Mayor takes note of these observations.

For the election of the 6th Deputy Mayor, he wishes to nominate on behalf of the Union pour Saint-Germain Group: Mr Benoît BATTISTELLI.

In the absence of any other candidature, he asks Mr JOUSSE to return to the desk in order to formally proceed to this election.

After the individual ballot papers have been deposited in the ballot box provided for this purpose, the counting procedure is carried out.

The Mayor proclaims the results:
Number of ballot papers found in the ballot box: 42
Number of blank or invalid ballots: 11
Number of votes cast: 31
Number of votes in favour of Mr Benoît BATTISTELLI : 31

Mr Benoît BATTISTELLI having obtained the absolute majority of the votes is proclaimed 6th Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor announces his pleasure at the election of Mr BATTISTELLI who will be reunited with a delegation with which he is well acquainted since he occupied it previously, namely the delegation of Culture. He recalls that it was also the position he himself [i.e. the Mayor, Mr PERICARD] occupied. He expresses his satisfaction that the previous team will be reconstituted in a new format and congratulates Mr BATTISTELLI on his election.

The relevant page from the newspaper has been preserved by us [PDF] and meeting minutes in French [PDF] as well.

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