Already 58 candidates for the municipal elections in France have signed April's Free Software Pact, stating that they will support the use of free and open source software. Free software advocacy group April began its support campaign in early January. "Many candidates are keen to announce their support and to detail their plans for freedom in the digital age", the group comments.
Examples of local political parties signing on to the pact include Voreppe Avenir, Ambition Beaugency and Vivre Echirolles. Local candidates for national parties are also committing themselves to free software, including Front de Gauche, the Union des démocrates et indépendants, Europe Écologie – Les Verts and the Parti Pirate. April's list of signatories shows candidates from some of the country's largest cities such as Paris, Lyon, Toulouse and Nantes.
Municipal elections in France will take place on 23 and 30 March.
The campaign, titled Candidats.fr, is a way for members of the free software community to raise awareness, April explains on its website. "Politicians need to know that there are many free software users, and that we want them to defend its future", says Jeanne Tadeusz, public affairs officer for the organisation. One of the tools is a public petition, listing citizens that use free software and that want politicians to support this type of ICT solution.
The group has also started to approach candidates taking part in the election for the European Parliament of 22 to 25 May. With this campaign, called The Free Software Pact, the organisation is calling for help to get texts translated into other EU languages, and for free software enthusiasts to use the campaign materials to contact candidates.
Announcement by April (in French)
List of candidates for the municipal elections that signed April's Free Software Pact
Petition on the importance of free software
Campaign for the European Elections
Joinup news item
Joinup news item