French Prime Minister Jean Castex will back a recommendation to delay regional elections by several months, after a report submitted to his office concluded that holding the contest as scheduled could endanger public health.

The prime minister will seek to push back the upcoming regional elections, originally set for March 2021, by three months to June next year. 

The move comes after Jean-Louis Debre, the former president of the Constitutional Council, issued a report in which he said that postponing the elections would be prudent given the current health risks created by Covid-19. He stressed, however, that the government should make a decision on the matter as soon as possible in order to avoid political “uncertainty.”

A bill outlining the proposed delay will be presented to the Council of Ministers next month, French media reported. According to Le Parisien, French officials have also signaled that they would like to explore the possibility of mail or even internet voting, while acknowledging that such methods are more vulnerable to fraud.

Despite adopting strict measures purportedly designed to stop the spread of Covid-19, France, like many other nations, has been hit by a second wave of the virus. It has been labeled as the worst-affected country in Europe, after reporting more than 30,000 new positive tests on Thursday. The nation has registered nearly 1.9 million cases since the start of the pandemic, resulting in 42,960 deaths. The French government imposed a second lockdown nearly two weeks ago in an attempt to flatten the spike in new cases.

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