Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux has hit out at reports that the Festival has delayed its dates by a week to avoid too great a proximity to the upcoming French presidential elections.

“As soon as we analyzed dates in July for next year’s event we decided on May 16-27,” Fremaux told Variety.

France’s presidential elections run April 22 and May 6.

“Of course we paid attention to the dates of the elections: Three days after the election, the [French] media will still be focused on them,” he added.

“But we are an international festival so the elections can’t be the main reason for deciding dates. May 16-27 are simply the best dates taking in France’s May 17 Ascension Day national vacation and the last weekend segues into the May 28 Whit Monday: “Both will be very good for business,” Fremaux said.

Fremaux recognized that a member of his team had posted dates of May 9-20 in June for the 2012 event. But that announcement had been precipitate.

Dave McNary contributed to this report