Bayou affair, internal referendum rejected: bad weather for the Greens

Bayou affair, internal referendum rejected: bad weather for the Greens

New tile for EELV leadership: The internal referendum to simplify the organization and adapt the party to the “conquest of power” it supported was defeated, plunging the party further into the crisis fueled by the Bayou affair .

The referendum received 54.93% Yes among the 3,577 voters among the 10,998 members, a far cry from the 66% needed to pass according to the final figures. Statutes and rules of procedure of Europa Ökologie – The Greens remain unchanged, the party leadership added in a press release.

The introduction to the referendum urged people to “say yes to the end of motions as machines for creating opacity and militant demobilization. Yes to more transparent and readable operations”.

Marine Tondelier, January 18, 2020 in Hénin-Beaumont (AFP/Archives – FRANCOIS LO PRESTI)

The ‘yes’ vote was backed by Marine Tondelier, who is due to look for the party leader at the party conference scheduled for December, and many elected officials. “The complexity of our statutes excludes them, they need to be simplified,” the municipal council of Hénin-Beaumont told AFP.

The opaque debates and internal struggles are well known in the political world and are regularly teased. But the 66 percent mark, with blank ballots counted, was too high for a controversial proposal.

Indeed, some have denounced a threat to pluralism among ecologists that is sacred to many historical activists. “The referendum is turning the movement on its head, it’s a hasty process by friends of Marine Tondelier and it’s creating a lot of tension,” says leftist Alain Coulombel.

He is helping to prepare a second referendum proposing to postpone Congress to March or April to give the EELV time to reform.

According to him, “there is a risk of an increasingly homogeneous, monochromatic party led by a small oligarchy”, in short “it will look like La France insoumise”. Alain Coulombel notes, “We could have started the school year on something other than what creates tension.”

– postponement –

Julien Bayou, June 28, 2022, in Paris (AFP/Archives - Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT)
Julien Bayou, June 28, 2022, in Paris (AFP/Archives – Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT)

EELV is indeed shocked by allegations of moral harassment of National Secretary Julien Bayou by a former collaborator. Testimony by MP Sandrine Rousseau in a Monday program meeting this ex-companion prompted the environmental group in the National Assembly to suspend Julien Bayou from his co-presidency.

An unwelcome affair: the 23 MEPs somehow tried to get out of the shadow of La France insoumise (LFI), which monopolizes media attention, strong with its 75 MEPs and with a divisive tone. One party is currently in the Quatennens affair.

A Green MEP describes a certain dilettantism among the Greens to AFP: “There are some who are preparing to seize power, we are still recruiting our parliamentary staff, who absolutely must have a green culture … All this in order to end up becoming former socialists”.

With that kind of postponement, Marine Tondelier wanted to break at least for the party, as did several elected officials who were pushing for the referendum to be organized.

The motions lead to a fully proportional distribution of positions, argues a big elected Green, familiar with how the party works.

They are therefore, in his opinion, “a bonus for the division because it was better to make two lists at 6% than one list at 12%,” he points out. And in the executive “there have always been difficulties, we have spent our time discussing details in order to make a decision”.

This source says that “our party was originally built to oppose power, but today it is our responsibility to govern.”


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