‘Never had a president as authoritarian as Macron’ Le Pen savages President’s term

French elections: Le Pen savages President Emmanuel Macron's term

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After French President Macron slammed Marine Le Pen’s behaviour as the ‘beginning of an authoritarian regime’ for her treatment of journalists, the French candidate Le Pen hit back at him on live television. She said on French TV channel that “she had no lessons to learn from him”, given his poor track record over the last five years. She told France 2: “We have never had a president who has shown as much authoritarianism as Emmanuel Macron. I mean, he’s the man who brutally repressed all the demonstrations, not just the yellow vest, but also the firemen’s demonstration.”

“He is the man who threw police officers against firemen. That’s the reality.”

 Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for his mishandling of multiple crises under his government.

His mandate was marked by the yellow vest protests, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the submarine deal crisis among other crises his government had to weather. 

“I would remind you that France is 34th in terms of press freedom in the Reporters Without Borders ranking, behind Ghana and behind Uruguay.”

Under Macron’s term, France fell to the 34th position of the Reporters Without Border’s press freedom index. The main reason for that is the ‘global security’ bill aimed at restricting the publication of photos and video footage of policers officers during demonstrations.

The bill was examined in parliament at the height of the yellow vest protests in 2020 when an increasing number of police injuries were recorded.

Provisions of the bill – especially a ban on photos of police officers – stirred up anger among protesters who intensified nationwide demonstrations.

At the time, instances of police violence against private citizens and journalists provoked a national outcry that forced Macron’s government to redraft the bill. Despite a year-long protest, the ‘global security’ bill swiftly passed parliament in 2021.

“He is the man of the work orders, he is the man of contempt for the assembly, he is the man of the management of Covid which has imposed a massive restriction of public freedoms”, Ms Le Pen added.

In the wake of stringent Covid-19 measures, “freedom convoy” motorists protested in Paris and across France against vaccine mandates. Macron’s government then dealt another blow to protesters in January with the vaccination pass that required anyone to be fully vaccinated to enter any public space.

In a note to the government, France’s human rights defender expressed her concern, questioning the “method” and “proportionality of most of the provisions of the bill”. She called for “an in-depth public democratic debate” and “deeply regretted the choice of an accelerated procedure in view of the extent of the attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms.”

France has since lifted the Covid passport requirement.

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“He is the man of the work orders, he is the man of contempt for the assembly, he is the man of the management of Covid which has imposed a massive restriction of public freedoms”, Ms Le Pen added.

In the wake of stringent Covid-19 measures, “freedom convoy” motorists protested in Paris and across France against vaccine mandates. Macron’s government then dealt another blow to protesters in January with the vaccination pass that required anyone to be fully vaccinated to enter any public space.

In a note to the government, France’s human rights defender expressed her concern, questioning the “method” and “proportionality of most of the provisions of the bill”. She called for “an in-depth public democratic debate” and “deeply regretted the choice of an accelerated procedure in view of the extent of the attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms.”

France has since lifted the Covid passport requirement.

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