Key positions in the Assembly: it escalates between left and majority

Key positions in the Assembly: it escalates between left and majority

“Sordid tricks” with the RN for some, respect for “all sensitivities” for others: the election to key positions in the National Assembly turned sour on Wednesday between the left and the majority.

It took six hours until the evening to elect the six vice-presidents, three quaestors and twelve secretaries of the Palais Bourbon, in a distribution according to the weight of the political groups.

These are for the vice-presidents of Valérie Rabault (PS), Elodie Jacquier-Laforge (MoDem), Naïma Moutchou (Horizons), Caroline Fiat (LFI), Sébastien Chenu (RN) and Hélène Laporte (RN). And for the quaestors of Marie Guévenoux and Eric Woerth (LREM) and Eric Ciotti (LR).

With the president of the Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet (LREM), these 22 deputies constitute the office of the institution, a sort of board of directors.

However the choice of this office, which could have been a simple formality, gave rise to a series of passes of arms, like a foretaste of the games to come in an Assembly without an absolute majority.

Aurore Bergé, president of the Renaissance deputies, June 22, 2022 (AFP/Archives – Alain JOCARD)

The leader of the LREM deputies Aurore Bergé defended the importance that “all sensitivities” can be represented in the office.

This is “in accordance with the democratic choices of the French” in the legislative elections, also believes the boss of the MoDem deputies Jean-Paul Mattei, in a joint press release from the majority.

But that has meant that members of the majority vote for far-right candidates in secret ballots.

“LREM called to vote for the National Front. The masks are falling”, denounced Julien Bayou, co-president of the environmental group. “Shame to see colleagues who claim to be Republicans slipping an RN ballot into the ballot box,” said socialist Arthur Delaporte.

Adrien Quatennens (LFI) denounced a “de facto alliance” and “an agreement between the RN, LREM and LR to exclude Nupes”.

The president of the LR deputies Olivier Marleix rebukes these left-wing elected officials. “Mr. Bayou would almost like certain representatives (the RNs) not to have the right to sit in the hemicycle. This is not my conception of democracy”.

For her part, Marine Le Pen, president of the RN group, denounced “infinite bad faith” from the “far left”, which “did not want all political forces to be represented to their fair measure”.

– “We don’t understand too much” –

Just before the meeting, the left alliance Nupes had broken a draft agreement reached in the morning, which provided in particular for two vice-presidencies at the RN and a post of quaestor for Eric Ciotti.

“Tambouille”, “denial of democracy”: with others, Mathilde Panot (LFI) had denounced this draft agreement which, according to them, marginalized the left in favor of the far right.

After a psychodrama in 2017 on the opposition quaestor, the majority revised the rules, establishing a points system according to the position to be filled.

At the test for the first time, the new rules were applied with difficulty. “It’s the most complete disorganization,” sighed Bertrand Pancher, co-president of the independent group LIOT.

“It’s time for it to end,” we heard in the corridors shortly before the results of a second round for the allocation of the last two secretarial positions.

To these difficulties between majority and oppositions were added confusions within the Nupes: “the Greens announced two candidates without warning the others in the Nupes. We do not understand too much”, confesses a socialist.

The candidacies of environmentalists Sandrine Rousseau and Benjamin Lucas for the vice-presidency of the Assembly were announced in extremis, “to block the far right”. The two green candidates ultimately only won around thirty votes, which were insufficient.

At LR, Annie Genevard regretted not having been able to apply, and considered that “arithmetic has a good back” and that “the majority is alone against Nupes and RN”, since LR only obtained one post of quaestor with Eric Ciotti.

The six vice-presidents of the Assembly take turns, with the holder of the Perchoir, chairing the meetings. The three quaestors, traditionally two from the majority and one from the opposition, hold the purse strings of the institution.

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