"Attack on democracy", "attempt to gag the opposition", "authoritarian turn"... It's been two weeks since the four left-wing opposition groups in the Île-de-France regional council warned about the consequences of a deliberation scheduled for Wednesday. An amendment to the rules of procedure to raise the threshold from seven to ten elected representatives to form a group. With, therefore, the programmed disappearance of two opposition groups: that of the PCF (7 elected) and LFI and related (8 elected).
A report examined this Wednesday at 18:45, after having been shifted several times during the day, according to the suspensions of sessions and negotiations behind the scenes between the majority and the opposition. The former proposed to the latter to amend the text to waive the raising of the threshold, provided that they agreed on a 50/50 distribution of speaking time. Half for the majority and its two groups totaling 123 MPs, half for the six opposition groups (four for the left, one for the presidential majority, one for the RN) totalling 82 MPs.
For the regional executive, this modification aimed precisely to "rebalance speaking times" to avoid the "slippages" of recent months. "It was found that 75% of the speaking time in session went to the 6 opposition groups while they have less than 40% of the elected," justified the regional majority in the initial text, which does not count the interventions of the executive. "The repetition of lies is toxic, when we hear a lie six times, it becomes a semi-truth," denounced Valérie Pécresse, in the preamble to the new text, finally adopted but without real support from the opposition.
Speaking time allocated proportionally
"We have dialogued to bring out other solutions with a democratically more balanced principle," had pleaded Jean-Didier Berger (Free!), 1st vice-president of the community that led the negotiations. In the end, speaking time in plenary and in the 22 thematic committees will be "distributed by full proportional representation according to the number of group members".
"Democracy is badly damaged after this sequence," replied Vianney Orjebin, president of the LFIA group. "Never has a modification of the rules made so much noise," continued Céline Malaisé, president of the PCF group, before continuing: "you have returned to what we considered a republican rupture, fortunately, because the expression of pluralism is essential."
If they are saved, the elected representatives of the communist group criticised in a press release "the right and the centre which impose a further reduction of the rights of the opposition by the reduction by two of speaking times" and a limited number of amendments. They maintain their demonstration planned for Thursday morning in front of the headquarters of the Region.