At least 250 minority candidates, many of North African origins, are running for the National Assembly this year in continental France, compared with little more than a dozen five years ago, according to figures compiled from party records and associations that represent minorities. Precise figures are difficult to obtain because election authorities are not allowed to designate a candidate’s race. While those figures remain only a small percentage of the 7,639 candidates seeking legislative office, political analysts say they represent a seismic shift in French politics. The increasing number of minority candidates shows that a political revolution is underway, said Nordine Nabili, 39, a sociologist and chief of Bondy Blog, one of the most popular political blogs among young minorities in the heavily immigrant Paris suburbs. People who live in the suburbs are questioning the system. Unlike traditional politicians, they speak their minds – they are like republican kamikazes. For Jean-Claude Beaujour, the UMP candidate in Paris’ multi-ethnic eastern district, this year’s crop of diversity candidates is just the beginning.

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