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A French MP stops Parliament by shouting “Return to Africa” ​​at a black MP

The lower house of the French parliament suspended its session on Thursday after a far-right lawmaker shouted: “Go back to Africa! as a far-left black lawmaker asked about immigration.

The comment created a huge stir. The centrist government and leftist alliance said it was an unacceptable racial slur. The far right argued that MP Grégoire de Fournas was not targeting the MP who asked the question, Carlos Martens Bilongo, but the migrants stranded on an NGO boat.

“There is no place for racism in our democracy. The Bureau of the National Assembly will meet (Friday) and should decide on the necessary sanction,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told reporters after the incident.

De Fournas, a member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN), and his party maintained that he had said nothing wrong.

He “obviously talked about the migrants transported in boats by the NGOs”, tweeted Le Pen. “The controversy created by our political adversaries… will not deceive the French.”

Bilongo saw it very differently, calling the comment “shameful”. “Today I was referred to my skin color. I was born in France. I am a French MP,” he said.

Stéphane Sejourne, who leads President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party, said de Fournas should step down, and the left-wing Nupes alliance said he should be expelled.

Over the past few years, Le Pen has made enormous strides in detoxifying his party’s image and convincing voters that the party founded by his father Jean-Marie, who was repeatedly convicted of inciting racial hatred , has moved into the conservative mainstream and is now fit to govern.

With 89 deputies, the RN is the second party in parliament.

A close Le Pen ally, Jordan Bardella, is expected to take over as party leader on Saturday – even though Le Pen is still in charge.

“The National Rally showed its true face today,” the left-wing Nupes alliance said in a statement. “This racist insult is characteristic of the far right: to stigmatize according to the color of one’s skin, to divide the French.”


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