The majority once again displays its divisions in the Assembly
This is a bill that has not streamlined relations between the three components of the majority in the Assembly, the Renaissance, Modem and Horizons groups. As if, in full hardening of the conflict over the pension reform the need was once again felt to display the divisions.
The text carried by Aurore Bergé, president of the Renaissance group in the National Assembly, proposed extending the mandatory additional penalty of ineligibility to a series of aggravated acts of violence: those committed on a minor under 15, a vulnerable person, the spouse, with a weapon, or in the event of racist motivation.
During the debate, the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti, had supported it by considering that it brings “coherence” to the Penal Code. “What can sincerely justify not voting for this text? asked Aurore Bergé at the opening of the debates on the text. She failed to convince: after heated discussions whose content recalled those on pensions in February, the deputies rejected the only article of the law, 113 voting for and 140 against.
The PPL also had political aims, wanting to be a response to the affair quaternans , named after the deputy of La France insoumise (LFI) who was sentenced, after a guilty plea, for domestic violence to four months in prison suspended. The case created a great confusion within the Nupes , the left-wing alliance, between pro and anti-Quatennens, the first recruited from LFI, the others from partner parties (socialists, communists and ecologists). The bill had been tabled right at the time of Adrien Quatennens’ return to the National Assembly. “This return cannot be ignored, there is nothing natural about it,” said Aurore Bergé.
“An epidermal law”
But this tempo has aroused “strong reservations” even within the majority. Modem and Horizons deputies, the party of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, had publicly expressed their reluctance to vote for this text. “Making an epidermal law based on various facts is never the right way to do it. The judges already have the possibility of taking additional measures of ineligibility”, estimated the deputy Horizons Frédéric Valletoux before the vote. “We cannot be against the minimum sentences and vote for this text, it makes no sense”, abounded the MP Modem Bruno Millienne.
The vote is a failure for the deputy Aurore Bergé, and a new stroke of the penknife within the presidential majority. The vote is clear: of the 26 Modem deputies who took part in the vote, 20 voted against (4 for and 2 abstentions) while the Horizons deputies had deserted the bays: only 6 out of 29 voted on this PPL, including 5 votes against.
“A before and an after”
Some saw it as a backlash, after Renaissance’s refusal last week to support an article of a bill brought by Horizons MP Naïma Moutchou providing for the extension of minimum sentences for offenses of repeated violence against public officials. Tensions between the Renaissance and Horizons groups had come to light, against a backdrop of fresh relations between Emmanuel Macron and his former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who does not hide his ambitions for 2027.
“I regret that the debates were not up to the stakes”, declared Naïma Moutchou. Frédéric Valletoux had estimated on Twitter that there would be “a before and an after”. In the end, the text of the Horizons group had been removed. Within Horizons, the Renaissance group is accused of inconsistency, between the disapproval of automatic sentences last week, and their approval with the Bergé proposal.
Eric Dupond-Moretti’s arm of honor
On the benches of the left and the Republicans and the National Rally, the reservations were heard on the PPL of Aurore Bergé. MPs LR, RN and LFI voted overwhelmingly against. The member for Yvelines was accused of having political aims by favoring emotion and political attack against Adrien Quatennens, applying in passing the old adage dear to Nicolas Sarkozy: “a news item, a law”.
The boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix and the LFI deputy Danièle Obono called on the macronists to sweep in front of their door by listing all the cases in which elected representatives of the majority or members of the government are indicted or convicted. The two arms of honor addressed by the Keeper of the Seals in the direction of the LR benches, after Olivier Marleix, recalled his indictment completed to fill the atmosphere.