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New Miss France Feels Proud to Represent a 'Cosmopolitan' Country

by Bidita Debnath on December 9, 2013 at 11:56 PM
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 New Miss France Feels Proud to Represent a 'Cosmopolitan' Country

Flora Coquerel, a Franco-Beninese student has said that she is proud to represent a "cosmopolitan" country after being crowned the new Miss France in a lavish ceremony.

Coquerel, a 19-year-old from Orleans, beat 33 other competitors to take the title in the nationally televised competition in Dijon on Saturday night.

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Her victory came amid concern over a series of racist incidents in France, including slurs against the country's top black politician, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has been compared to a monkey several times in recent months.

In her first post-pageant press conference, Coquerel suggested her victory was a evidence of France's acceptance of different backgrounds.

"I am very proud to represent a cosmopolitan France," Coquerel said, adding that she hoped to use her title to promote literacy and the integration of women in the workplace.
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Before the competition, Coquerel, whose mother is from Benin in West Africa, told France 3 television that she believed her mixed heritage was an advantage.

"It shows that today's France is a mixed France, where there is every culture, and I think a lot of people will see themselves in me," she said.

Coquerel was chosen by a combination of votes from the television audience and from a jury of celebrities.

The jury was this year headed by French Canadian singer Garou, after movie star Alain Delon quit as honorary president for life in October in a row over his backing of the far-right National Front party.

Organisers of the contest had berated Delon for comments supporting the anti-immigration National Front, its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, current party leader Marine Le Pen.

Source: AFP
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