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Recent accusations of violence towards ladies divide France’s left – POLITICO



One other head has rolled on the French left. Julien Bayou is not co-president of the inexperienced group in France’s Nationwide Meeting or nationwide secretary of the Inexperienced occasion, the place he’s been an necessary determine since 2013, after being accused of psychological abuse towards his former associate.

The Inexperienced occasion — Europe Écologie les Verts (EELV) — is torn over the affair, which comes proper after a rift fashioned inside the broader left-wing alliance — led by far-left chief Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Unbowed — over one other controversy surrounding violence towards ladies.

Mélenchon’s success in June’s parliamentary elections robbed French President Emmanuel Macron of his majority within the Nationwide Meeting, giving the left-winger and his occasion unprecedented political affect. However accusations concentrating on two of his occasion’s heavyweights in parliament have solid doubt over the administration of gender points inside France Unbowed, a celebration with a robust feminist stance.

Bayou’s case is now including to the left’s troubles.

In July, Le Figaro reported that Bayou’s ex-girlfriend had filed a grievance to the Greens’ inside staff which offers with violence towards ladies, after what he known as a “painful and troublesome breakup.” His job solely gave the impression to be on the road, nonetheless, after Sandrine Rousseau, a fellow Inexperienced and influential MP, re-upped the matter on France 5 final week.

Rousseau prompt Bayou had exhibited “conduct which might break ladies’s psychological well being” and mentioned that Bayou’s former associate had later tried suicide. The occasion subsequently suspended Bayou from his function as co-president of the group, and he has now stepped down as secretary as properly.

In a press release criticizing the style of his ouster, he mentioned, “I’m accused of info which haven’t been laid out, which my accusers say usually are not punishable by regulation … It’s Kafka within the time of social media.”

Speaking to Paris Playbook, somebody within the occasion’s administration, talking anonymously, questioned the style wherein Rousseau focused Bayou on a TV panel, asking, “Was it vital to put the subject out on the desk like that?”

Some Bayou supporters suspect a political maneuver from Rousseau, who opposes Bayou’s favored candidate to succeed him in December’s election for the occasion presidency.

One Rousseau supporter rejected this in no unsure phrases, saying: “Julien is a little bit ectoplasmic puddle who no person provides a shit about. Sandrine is doing this to combat the patriarchy, which for her is extra necessary than something.”

Mélenchon underneath fireplace

In the meantime, Mélenchon induced uproar in his personal ranks after clumsily commenting on one other case involving considered one of his personal lawmakers.

MP Adrien Quatennens, considered one of his closest allies in parliament, resigned as France Unbowed’s operations supervisor earlier this month after admitting he had slapped his spouse, Céline Quatennens — the pair are presently in divorce proceedings. French media reported that Céline Quatennens doesn’t intend to press fees.

Straight after Quatennens’ resignation, Mélenchon tweeted his “belief and affection” for the MP and criticized “media voyeurism,” earlier than explaining, “my affection for him doesn’t imply that I’m detached to Céline.” On Thursday, he doubled down on the tweets, saying he “at all times weighs [his] phrases” earlier than, bizarrely, stroking a journalist’s face.

Whereas rival events made predictably extreme criticism, seizing upon the chance to attain factors towards a celebration that’s made stopping violence towards ladies a key coverage focus, a number of figures from Mélenchon’s personal occasion additionally spoke out.

MEP Manon Aubry and MP Clémentine Autain mentioned that Mélenchon’s tweets didn’t communicate for them, whereas one other MP launched a assertion alluding to “some tweets [which] betray a belittling of the info dedicated and a misunderstanding of the fact of home violence.”

Autain and Rousseau are two of France’s highest-profile feminist figures, and are main voices in the case of condemning violence towards ladies. Rousseau was elected MP for the primary time in June; in 2016, she made headlines for accusing Inexperienced occasion colleague and MP Denis Baupin of sexual harassment, kicking off an extended authorized saga.

Mélenchon needed to make amends over the weekend, saying mentioned he “accepted” the criticism and condemnation of him on a France 2 discuss present.



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