Policy. A racist interpellation outrages the Assembly, suspended session
After a first session incident at the start of questions to the government, the President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet abruptly ended the session on Thursday, after a racist arrest in the hemicycle which provoked the indignation of the deputies.
During an intervention by LFI deputy Carlos Martens Bilongo on the « drama of illegal immigration », which evoked the Ocean Viking migrant boat currently in the Mediterranean, the RN deputy for Gironde Grégoire de Fournas launched in the hemicycle « that ‘they go back to Africa’ or ‘let him go back to Africa’, without it being clear if he was talking about the migrants or the deputy.
After a few minutes of confusion, the President of the Assembly ended the session « given the seriousness of the facts » and « the legitimate emotion » in the hemicycle.
“A controversy that has no place to be”
Asked about BFM TV, Grégoire de Fournas said he was talking about migrant boats, the objective of the RN being « to stop the migratory floodgates ». “My questioning was obviously not addressed to him, it is a controversy that has no place to be”. « I will not apologize, » he said, denouncing a « manipulation » of LFI.
The President of the Assembly announced the holding of an office on Friday, its highest collegiate body, to « decide on a possible sanction » against the deputy.
According to parliamentary sources, the Member concerned is liable to « simple censure », i.e. deprivation of half of the parliamentary allowance for one month or « censorship with temporary exclusion », i.e. deprivation for two months of half of the indemnity allocated to the deputy with prohibition from taking part in the work of the Assembly and from reappearing at the Palais Bourbon for fifteen days.
« The far right has shown its true face », according to LFI
« Today the far right has shown its true face, » said the president of the rebellious group in the Assembly Mathilde Panot.
In the presidential camp, the Renaissance group « will not sit » before a heavy sanction against the RN deputy, said its vice-president Sylvain Maillard. “Racism has no place in our democracy,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne reacted again.