Proposals of Attention to Prediction: Elimination of Laws, baptized as the “Bill Consolidating Respect for the Principles of the Republic”, will be debated in the National Assembly Committee starting this Monday before arriving at the semicircle February 1st.
A special ad hoc committee was set up to mark the occasion, bringing together members of all committees and not just those of the law and all political sensibilities. This is to be said when the subject is delicate. President Emmanuel Macron is cautious about sovereign affairs and was elected as part of an economic transformation project. He knows this text will be a sign of the end of his five-year term as everyone is talking about the 2022 presidential election.
On the way to heated debates
He set the tone during his speech in Les Mureaux in early October. The head of state had clearly targeted Islamist separatism. “It is a conscious, theorized, politico-religious project that comes about through repeated deviations from the values of the republic,” he had hammered.
Two weeks later, Professor Samuel Paty was beheaded and three people were killed in an Islamist attack in Nice, making the news of this text even more flammable.
No return of the veil
Even if the bill claims to be balanced, that it was very well prepared in an inter-ministerial will, the debates promise to get heated as secularism electrifies the debates. There are differences within each group. Including within the majority group of the Republic on the Move (LREM).
Some amendments are already causing controversy, in particular those tabled by MEPs Aurore Bergé (Yvelines) and François Cormier-Bouligeon (Cher), who want to ban the veil for little girls or companions on school trips. A change was ultimately declared inadmissible. Manuel Valls, former socialist prime minister and former MP on LREM, supports this proposal.
This text instrumentalizes fears
For his part, Hugues Renson, LREM vice-president of the congregation, condemns a Marine Le Pen-inspired “legislative device”. The same accusation made by Maas Émilie Cariou’s deputy, who resigned from the LREM Group in the National Assembly: “This text, which does not solve problems and exploit fears, is only an appeal to the extreme right”, is regretted. She does.
The right-left divide that the executive is trying to close becomes very evident in the debates. On the one hand, the right, who thinks this text is shocking and does not go far enough, and on the other hand, the left, which warns of a law that stigmatizes Muslims.
Sixteen months before the first round of the presidential election, no election calculations are missing. Emmanuel Macron knows he will be judged by the management of the health crisis but also by royalty. He is elected by a center-left electorate and is now backed by a majority of the more right-wing French, for whom the fight against radical Islamism is a priority.