Palestinian flag brandished in the Assembly: what do the internal regulations provide?

Palestinian flag brandished in the Assembly: what do the internal regulations provide?
Palestinian flag brandished in the Assembly: what do the internal regulations provide?

A symbolic act that makes a lot of noise. La France insoumise MP Sébastien Delogu brandished a Palestinian flag in the hemicycle this Tuesday during the government questions session.

President Yaël Braun-Pivet then immediately suspended the session and summoned an Assembly office to discuss a sanction. After a vote by the deputies at the resumption of the session, the deputy for Bouches-du-Rhône was excluded from the work of the Assembly for fifteen sitting days and will be deprived of half of the parliamentary allowance for two months, i.e. the strongest sanction provided for by the Palais-Bourbon regulations.

A sanction which is justified by article 9 of the General Instruction of the Bureau, which indicates that expression is “exclusively oral” within the hemicycle. “The use, particularly during questions to the government, to support a statement, of graphics, signs, documents, various objects or instruments is prohibited.” Thus, the wearing of any conspicuous religious sign, a uniform, logos or commercial messages or slogans of a political nature is prohibited.

Article 70 of the Assembly’s regulations indicates that “any member of the Assembly who engages in demonstrations disturbing the order or who provokes a tumultuous scene may be subject to disciplinary penalties”, or “who is guilty of contempt or provocation against the Assembly or its President”.

Once the offense has been committed and noted, article 71 provides that the disciplinary penalties applicable to members of the Assembly are a call to order, a call to order with entry in the minutes, censure or censorship with temporary exclusion. In the case of this Tuesday, it was the highest sanction which was chosen, before being validated by a vote “by sitting and standing and without debate” in the hemicycle.

If this decision therefore responds to the sanctions provided for by the regulations within the hemicycle, it may appear disproportionate compared to previous sanctions which had been applied in the past for similar acts.

Naïma Moutchou, the vice-president of Horizons in the Assembly, points out to Le Figaro that Sébastien Nadot (ex-LREM) had “only received a call to order with entry in the minutes” for having brandished a banner “France kills in Yemen”. She also recalls that the sanction was the same for François Ruffin, when he presented himself with a football jersey in the hemicycle.

In a different register, LFI deputy Aurélien Saintoul was sanctioned with a call to order with entry in the minutes, i.e. the withdrawal of a quarter of his parliamentary allowance for one month, in February 2023 after having qualified the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt as an “assassin” in the National Assembly.

For having said “let him go back to Africa” about the rebellious deputy Carlos Martens Bilongo in November 2022, the RN deputy Grégoire de Fournas had for his part been deprived of access to the hemicycle for fifteen days and half of his compensation for two months, the same sanction as that imposed on Sébastien Delogu.

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