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Two key parties in France’s left-wing alliance faced crises on Wednesday after high-profile figures were accused of violence against women, with a leader of the Greens party stepping down from his role a few days after a colleague from the left lasts France Unbowed.

Julien Bayou was “suspended from his role” as co-president of the Greens bloc in the National Assembly (lower house), the party said on Tuesday evening, after being accused of psychologically abusing an ex-partner .

“We are a feminist party, and so we put ourselves at the service of the testimony of women… we recognized that the only way to show that we were not pretending and that we were not hiding was a temporary suspension,” said said Sandra Regol, vice-president. president of the group of green deputies, declared on Wednesday to the channel franceinfo.

Adrien Quatennens, one of the most prominent deputies of La France insoumise (LFI), allied with the Greens in a broad left-wing alliance against President Emmanuel Macron, admitted on Sunday to having slapped his wife.

He resigned from a senior position as party coordinator.

Party leader and three-time presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came to Quatennens’ defense on Twitter, castigating “police ill will, media voyeurism and social media” while hailing “dignity” and ” courage” of his protege.

It wasn’t until hours later that Melenchon posted another message beckoning Quatennens’ wife – too late for many critics.

Macron’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday that it was “extremely shocking that someone is downplaying domestic violence”.

And some 550 feminist activists on Wednesday co-signed an editorial in the left-wing daily Liberation calling on Quatennens to resign from his seat in parliament.

“When a political group supports a feminist agenda, we are entitled to expect them to stop protecting abusers,” they wrote, citing a string of other left-leaning figures accused of assault and even rape .

“It is not for the abuser’s friends to judge the seriousness of the crime and call for respect for their privacy. Privacy is political.”

The Greens and LFI have set up internal commissions to investigate allegations of s*xual harassment and assault.

A report on Bayou was submitted to the environmental panel in July, sparking allegations that the investigation had moved too slowly.

“These are volunteers who work on sensitive issues by definition. It takes calm and time to collect the testimonies and make the necessary decisions”, declared Marine Tondelier, who should soon present himself to the leadership of the Greens. .

Allegations that s*xual harassment and even assault are commonplace in French politics extend far beyond the left.

In July, Damien Abad, a minister in Macron’s newly installed centrist government, was forced to resign over rape allegations.

He denies the allegations and has since regained his seat in parliament.

(AFP)

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