“Back to Africa”. The French deputy caused the indignation of the parliament Migration news
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has called on the assembly to punish Grégoire de Fournais for comments he made to a black colleague, while he apologized for the “misunderstanding”.
France’s parliament was thrown into chaos after a far-right lawmaker was accused of shouting “go back to Africa” at a black colleague who was asking a question about migrant arrivals.
Member of Parliament Carlos Martens Bilongo of the left-wing France Unbowed party questioned the government about the sea rescue ship carrying hundreds of passengers. Mediterranean Seaand has not received a designated port to bring them.
Charities have appealed to the French government to accept them or help find a solution.
Bilongo was interrupted by Grégoire de Furnas, a newly elected member of the far-right, anti-immigration party. National rally (RN) who says he said. “They should go back to Africa.”
Yael Braun-Pivet, speaker of the lower house of the French parliament, then adjourned the legislative session, later announcing that the comment would be investigated.
Sad and disturbing. A far-right French MP shouted at NUPES MP Carlos Martens Bilongo to “go back to Africa”. The assembly was shocked. The session was interrupted. pic.twitter.com/xh9DnlcyLF
— Rim-Sarah Alouane (@RimSarah) November 3, 2022
The comment drew criticism and condemnation as it was suggested that de Furnas may be directly targeting Bilongo with his words, as the pronouns “he” and “they” are pronounced the same in French.
De Furnas defended his comments and accused opponents of “manipulation”, while his party also denied any personal attacks on Bilongo. De Furnas later apologized to Bilongo “for the misunderstanding caused by my comments”.
He was “apparently talking about migrants being transported by NGOs,” National Rally leader Marine Le Pen tweeted. “The controversies created by our political opponents … will not deceive the French.”
However, Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne urged the assembly to sanction the far-right MP, saying “racism has no place in our democracy”.
Bilongo called the comment “shameful”.
“Today I was returned to the color of my skin. I was born in France. I am a French deputy,” he said.
Stéphane Sejourn, who leads President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, said de Furnas should resign, while the left-wing Nupes bloc said he should be removed.
A parliamentary committee will meet on Friday to discuss the incident, which could see de Furnas suspended from the assembly.
Macron’s centrist Revival party will refuse to take part in further sessions unless the council imposes a “severe fine”, deputy parliament speaker Sylvain Maillard said on Twitter.
Le Pen in this year’s presidential election challenged Macron led his party to its best ever election results with 89 seats in parliament.
Over the years, Le Pen has made significant progress in detoxifying her party’s image and convincing voters that the party founded by her father Jean-Marie, which has been repeatedly condemned for inciting racial hatred, has moved into the conservative mainstream and is now fit to govern;
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