Houlié (Renaissance) wants a right to vote in municipal elections for all foreigners

Houlié (Renaissance) wants a right to vote in municipal elections for all foreigners

The Renaissance deputy (ex-LREM) Sacha Houlié tabled a bill on Tuesday to “grant the right to vote and to stand for municipal elections” to all foreigners, even non-Europeans, sparking criticism from Gérald Darmanin, the right and the RN.

“This recognition is long overdue. However, we owe it to those who have often and for a long time participated in the dynamism of our society”, defends the text of the proposal, which also denounces a “discrimination between two categories of foreigners”.

Since 1992, only citizens of European Union member countries can vote in municipal elections. Mr. Houlié wants to lift this condition.

“It no longer shocks anyone to see Spaniards or Bulgarians voting in municipal elections in France. But it shocked a lot of people that the English no longer have the right to vote in France after Brexit,” the Vienne MP told AFP.

Mr Houlié will present this bill, “tabled in a personal capacity”, to the Renaissance group at the start of the parliamentary term.

A sea snake on the left, this right of foreigners to vote in local elections had been promised by François Mitterrand and François Hollande, without success.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who proposed a debate in Parliament in October on immigration, “is firmly opposed to this measure,” his entourage told AFP.

On the right, the LR deputy Eric Ciotti tweeted that he would oppose “with all (his) strength” this “serious and dangerous” text.

On the far right, the interim president of the National Rally Jordan Bardella was outraged: “While Gérald Darmanin was agitating the media about the (failed) expulsion of an Islamist, the Macronists were sneaking in a bill for the right to vote of foreigners,” he said on Twitter.

He was referring to the suspension by the courts of the expulsion of Imam Iquioussen, accused by French authorities of having made anti-Semitic, homophobic and “anti-women” comments, during sermons or conferences, almost 20 years ago for some.

In his tweet, Mr. Bardella also denounces a “final dispossession of the French from their country”.

Mr. Houlié prefers to see it as a “long and beautiful fight”. “France would enrich its model of integration,” he argues, and “would also make community demands that feed on marginalization ebb and flow”.

“What worries me is the populist debate on this issue. Being able to embrace all the topics that affect foreigners in France, near or far, is a way to give it a little height,” Mr. Houlié wants to believe.

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