French Parliament suspends MP after racist slurs at black colleague
French National Assembly suspends a Parliament member after yelling "Back to Africa" at a black colleague.
In a rare event, the French National Assembly decided to sanction one of its members with a 15-day suspension in addition to a pay cut.
The newly elected MP, Gregoire de Fournas, made a racist comment, yelling at a black college "back to Africa", which caused an outrage across all French political parties and around the globe.
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De Fournas denied making a racist comment towards his colleague, claiming that he was referring to an immigrant ship rescued from the Mediterranean.
The penalty is the second of its kind since the Fifth France Republic was established by Charles De Gaulle in 1958.
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SOS Mediterranee NGO requested earlier France's help to find a port to dock a ship with 234 migrants that were rescued at sea.
While Carlos Martens Bilongo, member of the leftist France Unbowed party (LFI), was questioning the government on the request, Gregoire de Fournas interrupted and yelled: "It should go back to Africa!".
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Rally party that Fournas belongs to, stated on her Twitter account that, "the controversy created by our political opponents is obvious and will not fool the French people."
Marine Le Pen has spent years fighting to make the far-right party she inherited from her father electable and went toe-to-toe in the previous presidential elections against Macron, and despite the loss, she was able to add 89 MPs to her party.
Le Pen's ideas include a "national preference" for selecting French workers over foreigners, excluding non-citizens from certain social benefits, and opting out of elements of the European Convention on Human Rights.
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The party was founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, but his daughter claims to have overhauled the former National Front into a mainstream force. Critics argue the changes are only cosmetic and that it remains inherently racist.