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Presidential candidates’ privacy

Posted April. 25, 2017 07:19,   

Updated April. 25, 2017 07:25


Emmanuel Macron, a presidential candidate for a new centrist party who will have a run-off on May 7, has an unusual love story. He fell in love with Brigitte, a teacher who was supervising a drama club when he was a high school student. She is 24 years older than him and was a mother of three. Her second son was Macron’s classmate back then. Despite oppositions and challenges, they eventually got married in 2007.

The Paris Match, a French weekly news magazine, covered his story in August 2016. It had a photo of the couple walking on the beach. Brigitte showed off her good body shape in a swimsuit despite her age over 60. The celebrity magazine exclusively ran a story about the secret daughter of former French President Francois Mitterrand in November 1994. At the age of 46, Mitterrand met Anne Pingeot, 19-year-old daughter of his old friend, and fathered a daughter. He continued the extramarital affairs even during his presidency, sleeping at her house, instead of the Elysee Palace, almost every day.

Marine Le Pen, who will face off Macron in the run-off election, is also unique. She married twice and gave birth to three children including a twin in a year. She became the leader of a far-right political party following her father Jean-Marie Le Pen. She had an unusual childhood. Her parents arranged a separate house on the upper floor of their apartment, leaving their three daughters to live with a nanny. When Marine was 16, her mother left the family, not keeping in touch with her children for 15 years. When her parents had an ugly divorce, the French edition of the Playboy magazine covered a photo of her mother cleaning the kitchen floor naked.

Compared to French counterparts, five major Korean presidential candidates seem to have a very normal personal history. Judging by Koreans’ standards, French presidents have nasty family backgrounds such as an extramarital affairs, a child born out of wedlock, and a co-hab. However, few French people take issue with them. They think performing one’s duty is separate from privacy. Many suspicions were raised over cosmetic procedures when former President Park Geun-hye was impeached. Now is the time to think about what the boundary of an official’s privacy is and what to protect and care for.