Maryse Charton was born 15 August 1942 in
 Her parents were both
Communists, and her father was
Maurice Thorez's bodyguard.
 She worked for the
Social Security in France and volunteered as a young communist.
 She then received a BA degree from the
University of the South, Toulon-Var followed by a master's degree and a PhD from
She subsequently taught
private law at Aix-Marseille University.
 In 1968 she married Alain Joissains. In 1970 she started her career as a
 She worked in the cases of the
Infected blood scandal and the use of
 It was also then that she became a follower of
Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, and joined the
From 1983 to 1989, she served as a member of the
regional council of
 She has been the
Mayor of Aix-en-Provence since 2001.
 She signed a law criminalizing drunkenness in public, a move aimed at the area's
 In 2009, her re-election was invalidated by a former councilor, Stéphane Salord, under the assumption that allegations spread about her opponent
François-Xavier de Peretti were too personal and violent.
 Nevertheless, she was re–elected.
 In June 2011, she voted against
 She has been accused of not attending the sessions in the
National Assembly of France.
 However, she responded by saying she was in attendance once a month.
 She is among the French politicians who
hold the most elected positions at different levels of government.
 She is a recipient of the
Legion of Honour.
François Hollande was elected President in 2012, she suggested that he might be "illegitimate", arguing that the entire French media and labor unions supported him and unfairly criticized
Nicolas Sarkozy's tenure, and she asked the
Constitutional Council of France to annul the election results; however, she was rebuffed.
Her former husband,
Alain Joissains, served as the
Mayor of Aix-en-Provence from 1978 to 1983.
 Now divorced, their daughter
Sophie Joissains is a member of the