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LES ECHOS

Inside The Minds And Maneuverings Of A Cannes Festival Jury

Shrouded in secrecy, the process for picking the winners is a mix of glamour and intrigue.

Cannes' red carpet from above
Cannes' red carpet from above
Thierry Gandillot

CANNES — You wake up early in Cannes, even if you always go to bed late. At 7:45 a.m., the first journalists rush to the red carpet to get the best spots around the Grand Auditorium Louis Lumière. At 8:25 a.m., a female voice warns — first in French, then in English — "Mesdames et Messieurs, veuillez regagner vos places, la séance va bientôt commencer. Ladies and gentlemen, the screening is about to begin." At 8:30 a.m. sharp, the room and its 2,309 seats are plunged into darkness for the opening credits. On the giant screen, the camera goes up a flight of underwater steps as a small shoal of fish swim by. The soundtrack is "Aquarium", from Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnaval des Animaux.

That's usually when you can notice a discrete movement inside the projection room, behind the orchestra, under the balcony. The members of the jury are coming out of an adjoining lounge where they had breakfast while chatting about the events of the previous day. They will slip out just as discretely as they came in, during the closing credits, either to leave the Palais des Festivals or to take a 30-minute break until the second movie starts.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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