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French presidential candidate mocked after dog signs to vote in primary race

A dog called Douglas from south of France is causing a ridicule for the rightwing presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse.

The dog, which lives in Nice on the Côte d’Azur, was allegedly signed up to vote in the primary race that chose Pécresse as the candidate for Les Républicains, according to reports.

The paper said it had seen confidential party membership lists for the December primary, and among the 148,000 party members signed up for the vote journalists had found names of at least four deceased people and one dog.

“Douglas was a discreet party activist,” wrote Libération.

“After paying €30 online in November, he received a membership card and the right to vote in the primary. No one saw him at meetings and he never commented on the campaign on social media – for the very good reason that Douglas is a dog.”

Libération said it had contacted Douglas’s owner, who confirmed that he had signed up the animal with his own contact details “to see if it was possible”.

Pécresse said she knew nothing of the dog’s alleged presence and denied any irregularities in the primary campaign, which she said had been “exemplary” and had never been challenged.

In a statement, the party denied all the allegations and said it would make a legal complaint against Libération.