French National Assembly considers sanctions after racist remarks by MP

French National Assembly considers sanctions after comments racists of a deputy


“Let him return to Africa”: after the wave of indignation aroused by the remarks of a far-right deputy, the French National Assembly decides on Friday on possible sanctions and could temporarily exclude the elected official, accused of racism by the other parliamentary groups. 

Thursday, the deputy of La France insoumise (LFI, radical left), Carlos Martens Bilongo, black, evoked in the hemicycle the “drama of illegal immigration”, when the deputy of the National Rally (RN, extreme right), Grégoire de Fournas, launched: “Let him return to Africa”, according to the official minutes of the meeting.

These remarks deeply shook the Assembly.

The far-right deputy assumed his remarks on Thursday, but denies any racist character and speaks of a “manipulation of LFI”. His party assures him that the elected spoke of the “boat” loaded with migrants Ocean Viking, mentioned earlier by Carlos Martens Bilongo, and in “no case” of the black deputy.

The office of the Assembly, its highest collegiate body, will meet at 2:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. GMT) to decide on possible sanctions.

Carlos Martens Bilongo said he was waiting for “the sanction heavier” against a “racist sentence” from an elected member of a far-right party who “has never changed”.

“Would that have been more acceptable” than the remarks of the RN are addressed “to the refugees on the SOS Méditerranée boat in a critical situation? “, he had wondered the day before.

The elected representatives of the left opposition (LFI and Greens) and the presidential camp plead for the resignation of Grégoire de Fournas.

He risks “simple censorship” – the withdrawal of half of his parliamentary allowance for a month -, or “censorship with temporary exclusion” – the ban on appearing at the Palais Bourbon for fifteen sitting days, and the deprivation of half of his parliamentary allowance for two months.

Carolos Martens Bilongo received the support of all the other benches.