LYON — The city council of the French city of Lyon has elected 67-year-old ethnic Armenian Georges Kepenekian as the 35th mayor of the city during the July 17 session, Le Figaro reports.

His candidacy was proposed by former Mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb. “I leave this post to you with strong emotions”, Collomb said who is still a member of the city council. 49 out of 70 members of the city council have voted in favor of Georges Kepenekian.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Kepenekian held the title of First Deputy Mayor of Lyon on cultural affairs. He will remain in office until 2020.

68 year old Kepenekian, the son of Armenian emigrants, is a surgeon-urologist. Kepenekian first achieved success in the profession and then started to actively promote the idea of introducing culture to hospitals in Lyon. He embodied his ideas in the Hospital Center Saint-Joseph Saint-Luc, where he has been Director of Strategic Development since 2005.

In addition, he is actively engaged in promoting recognition of the Armenian Genocide and is an administrator in the Bullukian Foundation

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