Threat to secularism or victory for integration? The National Assembly ignited on the evening of Tuesday, June 29 to find out if the polling station assessors could wear an Islamic veil.

For nearly two hours, the deputies tore themselves around a brief amendment, ultimately rejected, from the majority partner MoDem, which would have prohibited any ostentatious sign of religious affiliation for polling station staff, like this is already the case for political signs.

→ READ. Elections: are we allowed to wear religious symbols in a polling station?

The subject did not fail to raise passions, already strong around the billsays separatism on the “Respect for the principles of the Republic”, considered in second reading since Monday in the National Assembly. François Pupponi (MoDem) underlined that the president of a polling station was bound to this religious neutrality, not his assessors, who may however have to replace him. Therefore, “We propose that all the members of a polling station be held to neutrality, including religious”, whatever the confession, he pleaded, paving the way for an avalanche of speeches, punctuated by a suspension of session to calm the atmosphere.

A “Bardella amendment”?

Minister Marlène Schiappa, representing the government, called for “Do not fuel a spiral of stigma and hatred”, emphasizing that as soon as an assessor replaced the president of the office he was already required to remove any possible religious symbol. She also denounced a measure inspired by the case of the RN candidate for regional in Île-de-France, Jordan Bardella, who had voted in an office where a veiled assessor stood. Jordan bardella “Did he have the feeling of being threatened? “, or does he have “Preferred to launch a controversy on social networks? “, she asked. “This is not a ‘Bardella amendment’ but simple common sense, ”replied MoDem Bruno Millienne.

The right, which makes the question of the veil its battle horse on this sensitive text, seized on this amendment “Timely” according to LR Eric Ciotti to raise the divisions within the majority on this subject. Eric Ciotti has long stepped up to support the centrist group’s proposal and denounce the entire government bill against separatism as being a simple “Trickle of lukewarm water” in the face of the Islamist and terrorist threat.

Marlène Schiappa spoke again to salute the civility of the veiled woman at the polling station, with this spade against Eric Ciotti: “Maybe with more ladies like her and fewer people like you democracy would be better off”. In return, the member for Alpes-Maritimes accused her of being “The ambassador of cowardice and inaction”.

The amendment rejected by a show of hands

Another moment of tension after LR Julien Aubert declared that France “Is not a multicultural or community democracy”. “You make me want to throw up”, launched the Socialist deputy of Paris Lamia El Aaraje, protesting against a vision of the republic “Who opposes and who stigmatizes”.

→ READ. With the separatism law, the question of the veil returns to the Assembly

Éric Coquerel for LFI also rose up against the “Discrimination vis-à-vis Muslims” who is “The best way to spread separatism”.

Assembly Vice President MoDem Sylvain Waserman tried to get everyone to agree by stating that he “There is no correlation between holding an assessor in France and terrorism” more than “The polling station must be a place of complete neutrality”. Brahim Hammouche, also from MoDem, called on his colleagues to think about the following question: “Having a veiled woman in a polling station, is it a setback, a failure, or a victory for the republic? “ The amendment was ultimately rejected by a show of hands.

→ PRACTICAL. The different types of Islamic veil


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