The 94-year old Jewish mayor of a French town in the foothills on the Pyrenees has said he is aiming to get re-elected when voters go to the polls this week.
André Trigano, mayor of Pamiers, has held public office for 49 years and will be 101 if he wins on 28 June then completes his fixed-term mandate.
“I hope I am not going to have to apologise again for not being dead,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
Born in Paris in 1925, Trigano lived through the city’s Nazi occupation. His Algerian Jewish parents were tipped off that their names were on a Gestapo arrest warrant and fled to the mountains of Ariège in the south of the country.
Trigano joined the Resistance, forging documents to help downed Allied airmen escape to Spain. He was arrested three times but survived.
After the war he founded a successful tent-renting business, later owning dozens of campsites and amassing enough wealth to indulge his love of classic cars, and this week revealed grand plans to renovate the centre of Pamiers if elected.
Despite rivals using his advanced years against him in the campaign, he was adamant that he could continue his service, saying: “When you build a 10-storey building, you don’t change architects after the fifth floor.”
The odds are with him – having run in 19 different elections in half a century, Trigano has lost only once. “If anyone wants my job, they’ll have fight for it,” he said.