Do parties investigate seriously before the nomination of candidates or the appointment of ministers?

by time news
Do parties investigate seriously before the nomination of candidates or the appointment of ministers?

Their return to school was completely overshadowed by the Abad affair. Gathered Monday morning at the Elysee Palace in full in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, the members of the new government of Elisabeth Borne attended their first Council of Ministers in an atmosphere weighed down by accusations of rape targeting Damien Abad. The appointment of the Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disabled People, who denied “with the greatest force” the testimonies reported by Mediapart, monopolized the report of the government spokesperson.

“The establishment of the truth, it is up to justice to do it”, swept Olivia Grégoire, hammered with questions on the subject at the end of this meeting. Already shaken last week by the Peyrat affair, Macronie is plunging back into controversy. But since the beginning of the campaign, the presidential majority is far from being the only party shaken by accusations of violence against women, targeting candidates invested in the legislative elections.

Accusations that splash all parties

Several political formations have been singled out for having invested men accused of violence against women and sometimes already convicted. “These investitures testify to a trivialization of this violence. When de Rugy resigns over a lobster business, it seems normal. But when it comes to sexual or gender-based violence, politicians no longer feel concerned, ”denounces Madeline Da Silva, one of the co-founders of the Observatory of gender-based and sexual violence in politics, at the origin of the reports. targeting Minister Abad. To support her point, this elected municipal representative from Seine-Saint-Denis adds: “Today, few parties have specialized cells and protocols for reporting facts or collecting testimonies”.

Within these parties, however, it is said to control as much as possible the backgrounds of the candidates invested in the 577 constituencies. But “it’s complicated to proactively comb through each candidate,” concedes rebellious MEP Manon Aubry. “What matters is to build a framework that does not tolerate any form of sexism, to protect the voice of victims by taking all alerts seriously and acting accordingly. Insubordinate France is also pleased to have settled the Taha Bouhafs affair in five days after the intervention of an internal monitoring committee against sexual violence when some opponents on the contrary castigate the timing chosen by the party. Alerted since May 7, the political formation would have been, according to the latter, forced to react publicly after the revelations of Mediapart against the person concerned. Tipped to wear the colors of the Nupes (New popular, ecological and social union) in the 14th district of the Rhône, the journalist withdrew his candidacy after testimonies accusing him of sexual violence, denouncing “slander”.

At Renaissance (ex LREM), we also take precautions on this subject. “We have a body, a cell, which allows us to report acts of sexual assault or moral harassment, for example. There is of course still work to be done in this area, but to take these alerts into account, you still have to be aware, ”says a member of the presidential movement. However, Jérôme Peyrat, LREM candidate in Dordogne, was recently invested by Renaissance, despite his conviction in 2020 for violence against his ex-companion. Known facts of the party and public opinion. It was only after a calamitous exit from his boss Stanislas Guérini on France Info, who was trying to defend his candidacy, that the outgoing deputy was forced to throw in the towel “His investiture was a mistake, admits an elected Macronist. But what I remember is that he did not slip through the cracks and that he is not a candidate today. Regarding the accusations against Damien Abad, the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics claims to have sent a report to several Les Républicains and LREM officials by email, without having any feedback. With Mediapart, the new minister Stanislas Guerini let it be known that he had not had time to check his mailbox.

Embarrassment on the right

On the right, the subject is embarrassing. Damien Abad, initially invested by Les Républicains, had been the subject of a first complaint for rape in 2012, then a second filed by the same complainant in 2017, and both closed without further action. “Rumors of a complaint against him had circulated in 2017, I had questioned Damien Abad at that time. He replied that all of this was false and that he had never been summoned by the courts, “assured Monday at PointChristian Jacob, the boss of the party, who claims to have “never been seized, neither by the Observatory of sexual and sexist violence nor by the services of the National Assembly”.

Who, within the party, checks the profiles invested for these legislative elections and how? “I really have no idea,” dodges an LR deputy, referring to the National Commission of Investiture. “It’s part of the procedure, but honestly, I don’t know. See rather with Eric Ciotti, it does not happen at the level of simple members of like me…”, eludes a member of the CNI. Contacted by 20 Minutesthe LR deputy for the Alpes-Maritimes and president of the CNI, did not respond to our requests.

In France, on the judicial level, only a sentence of ineligibility pronounced by magistrates can prohibit a candidate from standing for election. When a person is implicated in ongoing legal proceedings, the subject of a complaint or awaiting trial, he benefits from the presumption of innocence. It is therefore up to the parties, alone, to decide whether or not these people are able to wear their color.

At the PS, First Secretary Olivier Faure said he assumed that “in the event of a report, the rule is “we believe the women””. He claims to have withdrawn nominations from candidates during the last municipal elections, although it is “not very easy, when you have the elected official crying on the phone, swearing that he has done nothing”.

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