Bill for the right to vote for foreigners: the divided political class

A Constitutional law proposal was presented by the Renaissance deputy and president of the law commission, Sacha Houlié, on Tuesday August 9, for “ granting the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections to foreigners who are not nationals of the European Union residing in France “. If the left is for and the right against, within the presidential majority, the idea divides.

Sacha Houlié, deputy of Emmanuel Macron’s party, Renaissance (ex-LREM), wants to extend the right to vote to all foreigners for municipal elections, and no longer only to nationals of the European Union residing in France, as c is currently the case. ” This recognition is long overdue. We owe it, however, to those who have often and for a long time contributed to the dynamism of our society. “, argues his proposal, which castigates a “ discrimination between two categories of foreigners ».

Who is Sacha Houlie?

Former activist of the Socialist Party, co-founder in 2015 of Young People with Macron and national delegate of En Marche at its launch in 2016, MP Sacha Houlié also showed himself during the Covid-19 crisis to be an ardent defender of the panoply health restrictions imposed by the government (as a reminder, part of the political class wondered about the possibility that the unvaccinated could vote in the presidential election following the rejection in January 2022, by the majority, of a amendment which aimed to guarantee access to places where democracy is exercised »).

Promoter of ecological planning, he stood out in February by evoking for the first time the idea of ​​an “ecology pass”, triggering on Twitter an appeal to the mistrust of Internet users, at the forefront of which the president of the Patriots, Florian Philippot, who saw behind this message a desire of the government to create a QR code including future ecological restrictions.

Recently, in July, the convinced macronist distinguished himself in the National Assembly in a speech opposing the reintegration of caregivers not vaccinated against Covid-19, despite the evidence demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the vaccine on the transmission of the virus. virus.

The right to vote for foreigners, a project that has been controversial for decades

Considered as a political marker between the right and the left, the right to vote for foreigners in municipal elections is in fact an electoral adjustment variable in both camps. If this has been in the baggage of the left since 1972, several central figures on the right have also defended it. Among the Socialists, the project was first carried by President François Mitterrand, who will not keep this promise of 1981 during his presidential reign. A few decades later, his successor from the same party, François Hollande, will also declare himself in favor of this measure, without however endorsing this promise either, believing that the time has not come.

On the right, before becoming one of his biggest opponents, Jacques Chirac, generally classified on this side of the political spectrum, was himself one of the promoters of the vote for foreigners: “ I am in favor of the right to vote for immigrants in municipal elections “, he declared in Brussels, on October 14, 1979, in front of the association of French-speaking mayors, recalls France info.

The same goes for Nicolas Sarkozy, whose positions on the question will continue to change over the years: against in 1997, then for in 2001 in a book, he will reaffirm this position in 2005 in an interview granted to the newspaper Le Monde October 25, 2005: “ I do not find it abnormal that a foreigner in a legal situation, who works, pays taxes and has resided for at least ten years in France can vote in municipal elections “, he said then. In 2012, during the debate between the two presidential rounds, facing a favorable François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, who announced that he would support Emmanuel Macron in this year’s supreme election, this time spoke out against it.

The majority is divided

The project to grant the right to vote to foreigners in municipal elections is debated even within the current presidential majority. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin says to himself ” strongly opposed to this measure “, as stated by BFMTV and France info, citing his entourage. Sacha Houlié had also claimed to have submitted this proposal ” personally ».

Emmanuel Macron himself had never been in favor of this proposal, preferring the relaxation of access to French nationality. In addition, Sacha Houlié would have deposited the text without referring to his group, nor to the government, according to the journalist of Parisian, Pierre Maurer.

The Nupes would be “a pleasure” to vote in favor of the right to vote for foreigners

During an interview on Europe 1, MEP Manon Aubry (LFI) for her part declared herself in favor of the text, judging that “this fight must be fought” and welcoming that a debate is taking place on the subject of the vote of foreigners. ” There has been a lot of discussion since the beginning of this term of what the participation of NUPES could be, if there was a proposal like this on the table, well, we would be happy to vote for it “, she said.

Among the ecologists of EELV, the mayor of Grenoble Eric Piolle hailed on LCI an “excellent idea”, stressing that EELV supported “ strongly this proposal ».

The right wind up

Among the opponents of the measure proposed by Sacha Houlié, Eric Ciotti, deputy Les Républicains (LR), who reacted on BFMTV in these terms: “ I am totally opposed to the right to vote for foreigners. Voting should always be tied to nationality. The vote is the expression of the popular sovereignty of the French people, it is the expression of the general will of the French people. This is our Republic, this is our history; to want to derogate from it is to threaten our essential republican principles. »

On the side of the Rassemblement тational, Jordan Bardella castigated “ the final dispossession of the French from their country “. And to note: While Gérald Darmanin agitated the media over the (failed) expulsion of an Islamist, the Macronists quietly tabled a bill for the right to vote for foreigners, that is to say the final dispossession of the French from their country. They will find the RN on their way! »

For the president of the Patriots, Florian Philippot, the announcement of this bill is nothing but a diversion in order to eclipse the debates around inflation, the euro crisis, or even the ‘NATO. ” Same technique for 40 years! “, he exclaimed, stressing that this controversy would suit the opposition well.

Do foreigners who pay taxes have the right to vote?

On CNews, lawyer Pierre Gentillet, expressed his total opposition to this bill: ” To vote, you must be French. Sovereignty belongs to the French people. The sovereignty of the people manifests itself through its representatives. And the representatives, we elect them. The right to vote is a tool of sovereignty for the French people (…). This measure (the right to vote for foreigners) is dangerous: it will promote communitarianism. »

Regarding the argument that a foreigner who pays taxes should have the right to vote, the lawyer, who distinguished himself during the Covid-19 crisis by his opposition to health restrictions, denounced a desire to ” restore the most reactionary idea there is, which is called suffrage censitaire “. And to remember: Remember, in the 19th century, to vote, you had to pay. “On Twitter, lawyer Me Di Vizio, indignant, adds in turn: “ Suddenly the French who pays no taxes: does he not vote? »

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