My question is as in the title: during the Vichy regime in France, from July 1940 to, say, June 1944 were there any official election of any kind - for mayors, lawmakers, etc? If none, do you have a reference? If yes, what were they for, how were they organized, and who got elected?

(I was not able to find any information on this question on google)

1 Answer 1


As per the decree law of 16 November 1940, elections were only allowed for the "smallest communes".

This law was published in the Journal Officiel 12 December 12, 1940 and

...provided for the abolition of elected councils in communes and municipalities of 2,000 population and over....It is now provided that the members of councils in towns with a population from 2,000 to 10,000 shall be appointed by prefects, while in cities of over 10,000 the councillors shall be named by the minister of the interior. Communities of under 2,000 inhabitants may continue to elect their councils as long as these bodies refrain from participating in "politics."

(my emphasis)

Also, the Labour Charter of October 1941 allowed for elections of workers to newly set up comites sociaux. These committees were to plan "social and welfare programmes ... and arbitrate in matters of training, wages and manpower" (pdf) but they were, in reality, powerless and considered "mere window-dressing".

In practice, the Vichy regime was an authoritarian state in which all positions of any significance were by appointment. The regime rejected

the partisan strife of political parties


"the pettiness of politics".

which were seen as weaknesses of the Third Republic (1870-1940). Thus, in a speech on the 12th of August, 1941, Petain stated

Activity of political parties and groups of political origin is suspended until further notice in the unoccupied zone. These parties may no longer hold either public or private meetings. They must cease any distribution of tracts or notices.

  • 1
    Thank you. I think that's fully answer my question.
    – Joël
    Dec 8, 2018 at 3:40

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