She is banned for four months. The France Insoumise (LFI) group announced on the night of Monday to Tuesday, November 7, the duration of the sanction which will apply to the deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis Raquel Garrido, punished by the group for “accumulation of repeated actions and comments that harm the proper functioning of the collective.”
During this period, she will no longer be able to be a speaker of the parliamentary group, that is to say, ask questions to the government in the National Assembly or speak during motions of censure. The one who has been speaking out for several months as a dissident voice against the tutelary figure of Jean-Luc Mélenchon says she is “humiliated” and “angry”.
Act I: at the origin of the division, “the Quatennens affair”
Raquel Garrido is not accused of “defending her ideas” but of having “disseminated false information in the press about the group or its members”, “the questioning and ad hominem denigration of several members of the group” as well as “the targeting of employees of the parliamentary group”, specifies La France Insoumise in its press release published overnight.
If the controversy is gaining momentum in recent weeks, it seems to go back to silent but older disagreements between the ex-president of the LFI group and the MP for Seine-Saint-Denis. In mid-October, Raquel Garrido had criticized Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in the pages of Le Figaro then on franceinfo on October 22, of only “doing harm” to the movement, particularly “since the Quatennens affair”, elected rebel from the targeted North in October 2022 by a hand for domestic violence and who admitted to having slapped his wife. He then received public support from Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Twitter, saluting “his dignity” and “his courage” without clearly condemning this violence. An attitude which had disappointed some of the Rebels, including among the most faithful.
Act II: When Garrido tackles the party organization
“For a year, there has been a strong desire within La France Insoumise for us to change the way we operate,” continued Raquel Garrido. She then accused the party leader of having “from afar sought to put wedges between us and the trade union organizations and between us and the other Nupes parties”.
Before addressing his colleague directly. “I am just as Insubordinate as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, why am I the one who has to take a step aside? Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not even part of the parliamentary group. Jean-Luc Mélenchon will always have an influence, but I ask him to ask himself the question of how he uses this influence,” she said. Statement immediately criticized by her LFI colleague Nadège Abomangoli: “it’s Raquel Garrido who has been causing harm for months because she is not coordinating the movement. Ridiculous and dangerous”, tackled the MP on social networks.
Dysfunctions that she continues to staunchly defend after being sidelined. “I am ostracized. Why? Because I stood firm on the principle of non-cumulative mandates, because I dared to denounce the masculinist communication of Adrien Quatennens orchestrated by Sophia Chikirou and supported by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, because I defended the unity of Nupes, the union movement, and LFI during the great pension movement while the LFI leadership was only splitting, splitting and splitting again”, she lists this November 7 in reaction to his sanction.
Act II: “The Insubordinate Criminal Court”
The elected official was finally summoned on Monday, November 6 for 1h30, to the party headquarters. “During the hearing, in good faith, I defended my positions,” she assures. “I have refuted the unfounded and false accusations step by step.” “Verdict of the ICC (the rebellious Criminal Court): 4 months”, she reacted on X this Tuesday morning to the announcement of the sanction, making the link with the 4 month punishment also inflicted on Adrien Quatennens, who, according to her, “had the right to long deliberations within the group”.
For Insoumise, “the group’s office had no right to take such sanctions.” She denounces a “self-proclaimed disciplinary body to try – how immaturity – to resolve political disagreements through coercive measures. I am humiliated, I am angry, I am ashamed to see this evolution of the political project to which I have devoted 30 years of my life,” she concludes.
Act IV: Clémentine Autain’s reaction
A sanction which earned him the support of the other dissident figure of LFI, Clémentine Autain who said she was “attracted” Tuesday morning on France Inter. “The party does not strengthen itself by purifying itself,” she said. “The logic which underlies all of this is the idea that the clan would go before the movement”, in direct reference to Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his relatives.
A decision also criticized by François Ruffin. “Why four months and not two, or six, against Raquel Garrido? What obscure paragraph of what unknown regulation decides this?”, tackles the rebellious deputy from the Somme in a message on X.
Recently, LFI’s positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have pushed several Nupes figures to criticize the choices of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The head of the Socialist Party Olivier Faure notably accused him of “making the words of the left inaudible” on the situation in the Middle East. Clémentine Autain also points out a disproportion of the “Garrido affair” compared to the divisions on this issue.
On Franceinter, she notably cited MP Danièle Obono “who was able to make comments about Hamas which do not correspond to the position of the group”, or polemical statements reported from Sophia Chikirou: they “deserved, it seems to me- he, at least to be heard so that they can explain themselves to us. All this has not been done.” For her, “we must question our political profile […] : for a year, we should have ramped up” while the movement is “mired in controversies”.