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Meet The Beninese Laurent Jimaja, The First BLACK Mayor Of Switzerland!!

Originally from Benin, this migrant will be the first man left to sit on the executive of the Grand-Saconnex. It’s a trace of a typical course.

This last Sunday of the Geneva elections was the day of the first. The left managed to conquer seats in the executives historically right, as in Bernex and Versoix for the Socialists, and the Grand-Saconnex for the Greens. In this last commune, the victory of the ecologist Laurent Jimaja is unprecedented in another title: he is the first black to sit in a Geneva city hall, and even Swiss. What is the scope of such an election? “For all the people who, like me, are from elsewhere, my example can be beneficial, recognizes the new magistrate. But I do not want to be a symbol or defender of a cause. “

Originally from Benin, Laurent Jimaja arrived in Geneva in 1989, at the age of 30, after studying in Senegal. “It’s a love story that brought me here, for three months of vacation. I finally stayed, “says the adult trainer. Despite a great deal of activity with associations in the canton such as the Red Cross or Caritas, a political commitment in Switzerland was not a matter of course: “I rescheduled my life as a citizen on my return to my country of origin, Knew more and more. “Thirteen years ago he decided to join the Greens. “People of foreign origin often feel unworthy to engage. As a migrant, we have to be determined, to realize that this is where we live. “

Lack of representativeness
The man is the father of two young adults. On several occasions he evokes his desire to be an example to them by the act. For this reason, he does not wish to emphasize his foreign origins, like his party, which did not recognize this particularity by announcing his victory. “For us it was normal. It is not the candidate of diversity, it is Laurent Jimaja, “says Lisa Mazzone, President of the Greens. If it considers that this result marks a certain evolution, it is also challenged: “The fact that it is a first demonstration also demonstrates to what extent our institutions are not very representative of the population.”

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Laurent Jimaja evokes a certain embarrassment during his beginnings in the political environment of the Saconnei. A timidity, which had to be overcome. “It’s always the same when you land in a group of people who know each other. We must understand the codes. “On this point, friends and opponents quickly evoke an important quality of the newly elected:” perseverance. “ Councilor for twelve years, the ecologist presented this year for the third consecutive time to the town hall. In 2011, it failed with 109 votes of the podium. “Over time, the people got to know me. They know who they have to do. “

Marguerite Contat worked with Laurent Jimaja for several years in the Swissaid association, which he has chaired for two weeks. She highlights “her sense of listening very developed” and “her ability to find compromises”. “It’s a quiet force. He came to this at the cost of a long job, “she says. This capacity to dialogue, Laurent Jimaja will need it as a leftist magistrate in a commune dominated by the Entente. Eliane Michaud-Ansermet, UDC municipal councilor, hopes that he will make a change: “He is a very present person, who speaks with everyone. His consensual personality will enable him to realize his projects. “

A philosophic politician

“He will certainly be able to bring his very social fiber to our college,” continues Betrand Favre (PLR), administrative councilor re-elected on Sunday. If he is enthusiastic about collaborating with the green, he nevertheless apprehends his taste for dialogue a little too pronounced: “Laurent is a politician philosopher enough. He seeks the debate and wants to speak for as long as possible. But in an executive, you have to make decisions, without questioning them the following week. “
Philosopher? Certainly. On arriving in Geneva, Laurent Jimaja wanted to become an intellectual. In addition to his activities with Swissaid and his international development projects, he is also president of the twinning association between Grand-Saconnex and Carantec (F). “All my commitments are linked to the belief that we are all citizens of the world,” he continues. I want to promote friendship between people, rather than belonging to a particular group. “I

Source: www.lecourrier.ch

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Written by How Africa

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