are there actually “ghost” deputies within the Nationwide Meeting?

A couple of days earlier than the top of the fifteenth time period, BFMTV.com examined the deputies who distinguished themselves by their absence from the Nationwide Meeting. Sanctions by the administration of the Palais-Bourbon stay rare.

A half-empty hemicycle in full first-reading adoption of the vaccine move final January, the German president talking in entrance of a handful of deputies in 2018 … MPs are sometimes blamed for his or her alleged absenteeism. A couple of days earlier than the primary spherical of the legislative elections, BFMTV.com questioned which elected officers, after 5 years in workplace, remained significantly discreet within the Nationwide Meeting.

Whereas LREM deputies have been typically noticed early of their time period on account of lack of funding, the symptoms don’t truly present extra pronounced absenteeism than others after 5 years in energy. Somewhat than political events, some forms of parliamentarians are very absent.

Substitutes that don’t discover their place

Amongst them, there are a number of individuals who have been alternates in 2017 and who entered the Palais-Bourbon by a authorities appointment or an election to the Senate.

That is the case withEdith Audibert, who grew to become LR’s deputy for the Var on 3 August 2020 after the resignation of Jean-Louis Masson, who once more grew to become mayor. Her presence in Parliament has solely been detected a dozen instances since her arrival, in accordance with knowledge from the Nationwide Meeting, analyzed by the Nosdéputés.fr web site. You spoke twice within the chamber and didn’t submit a report or a invoice.

Contacted by e mail, the elected official – who doesn’t symbolize herself – defended herself by evoking “a finances that isn’t that of a full mandate”.

One other case: the LREM deputy for the Hautes-Alpes Claire Bouchet, who arrived on the Palais-Bourbon due to Joël Giraud’s entry into the federal government in July 2020. In a yr and a half of her mandate she solely requested an oral query to the federal government, not took half in any report or invoice and solely spoke 5 instances in committee.

“We do not essentially notice it from the surface, however the Nationwide Meeting is a really arduous place”, decrypts Tris Acatrinei, founding father of the Arcadia Mission, a web site that decodes the work of parliamentarians.

“Once you attain the center of your time period, you’re just like the newcomer that no one is aware of and you aren’t at all times helped to seek out your home, your position, even inside your individual political group”.

One other issue: having the ability to discover arguments associated to the abilities of the brand new parliamentarian. When he arrived on the Nationwide Meeting final October, Stéphane Vojetta, the deputy for French residents overseas, for instance, discovered himself on the Protection Committee, who nonetheless had powers in financial issues.

“The replacements usually arrive when all of the seats have been assigned within the committees and the reviews ‘distributed'”, analyzes Samuel Goff, a former collaborator and former parliamentary journalist. “Typically solely the crumbs remained. And a few of them didn’t anticipate to return to the Meeting in any respect. The time to orient themselves, to adapt, that the mandate is already over”.

Deputies on the finish of their profession

They aren’t novices. However after years within the Nationwide Meeting, different deputies are additionally not very current, similar to Bernard Brochant. Elected for the primary time in 2001, the presence of the previous mayor of Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes), 84, was not counted within the hemicycle between September 2020 and April 2021, in accordance with Nosdéputés.fr.

His foremost contribution to parliamentary exercise is because of his capability as dean, which led him to preside over the election of the president of the Nationwide Meeting in 2017. Sentenced final April to a suspended jail sentence and a wonderful of € 375,000 for hiding an account in Switzerland Bernard Brochant didn’t symbolize himself in June.

Franck Marlin, elected LR MP for Essonne in 1995, resigned from his time period in 2020 so as to change into Mayor of Etampes once more. From June 2017 to August 2020 he didn’t converse as soon as within the chamber and didn’t take part in any reviews.

“Many MPs decelerate once they know it is their final time period,” a former Socialist MP analyzes BFMTV.com. “There is no such thing as a longer a stake for re-election, the main focus is on the native and sometimes the center is gone”.

Little abroad deputies

Abroad parliamentarians are among the many least current on this legislature, similar to Bruno Nestor Azerot (Democratic and Republican left). The presence of the deputy from Martinique was solely counted 3 instances on the Nationwide Meeting between October 2017 and April 2018, earlier than stepping down for an area mandate, in accordance with Our deputies.fr.

Philippe Gomes, UDI MP from New Caledonia can also be very discreet in Paris. After engaged on two reviews, his presence within the Nationwide Meeting was solely detected about twenty instances between March 2019 and Could 2021. If this era covers a part of the New Caledonian confinement, MPs might journey by presenting a damaging PCR check after which being vaccinated.

Convicted in Could for wrongful curiosity, he introduced he didn’t need to run once more.

“We’ve a giant infrastructural drawback for abroad parliamentarians. Fairly often, they focus their parliamentary exercise in Paris by coming for two or 3 weeks each quarter,” explains Tris Acatrinei.

It have to be mentioned that the space is a giant impediment: 24 hours of flight to New Caledonia, 9 hours for Guyana, 8.30 for Martinique …

However “the query of distance is a bit straightforward”, says Samuel Le Goff extra severely. “Roland Lescure is president of the Financial Affairs Fee and lives in the US, proving that it’s potential to stay distant and be very concerned. However abroad parliamentarians hardly ever attempt to place themselves within the nationwide political recreation and above all goal to carry the best variety of subsidies of their territory “.

Members absent for medical causes and never changed

If workers on sick go away or maternity go away are sometimes changed, the laws of the Nationwide Meeting don’t open up this chance, successfully fueling the absenteeism of some deputies.

“Very concretely, which means that in case you have most cancers or an advanced being pregnant, you will not be sitting for months,” explains a Nationwide Meeting administrator.

“And the state of affairs can final till the top of the time period if the deputies don’t resolve to resign themselves, which is a bit unusual if you happen to plan to return or are away for just a few weeks on paternity go away”, continues the identical supply .

Case research: MP Sylvain Brial (Areas and peoples in solidarity). Already comparatively little current at first of his time period in workplace, this elected consultant of Wallis-and-Futuna suffered a severe cardiovascular accident in October 2019 and has since returned to the hemicycle solely as soon as, in accordance with the Comte de Nosdéputés.fr.

If the presidential majority supposed to undertake a provision within the constitutional revision that might permit the alternative of deputies with their alternates in particular circumstances, the challenge failed, on account of lack of settlement with the Senate to change the Structure.

Few penalties

Nationwide Meeting laws present guidelines for sanctioning a few of these elected officers who’re too absent. Aside from justified exceptions, for instance, from a medical certificates, “past the 2 month-to-month absences (…) every absence from a fee (…) provides rise to a deduction of 25% on the month-to-month quantity of the work allowance”, specifies that of the articles on this textual content.

Some MPs have been punished like Aurélien Taché (previously LaREM, at the moment Nupes) in April 2019 who missed with out justification 4 weekly conferences of the social affairs committee by which he sits. End result: his parliamentary allowance went from € 7,239 gross to € 5,430 for one month.

One other provision: the actual fact of getting participated «in lower than two thirds of the general public votes entails the withholding of 1 third of the service allowance (for one month, ed.) (…). If the identical deputy has participated in lower than half of the ballots, this deduction is doubled “, additional specifies article 159.

In follow, the wonderful due to this fact quantities to € 4,320 gross within the first case and € 8,500 gross within the second. At current, “fifteen elected officers” might be affected, in accordance with the calculation made by the affiliation Regards citoyen. However this sanction was by no means utilized, in accordance with Le Figaro. When requested about this, the Nationwide Meeting didn’t reply our questions.

There are a number of causes for the absence of sanctions, beginning with avoidance methods. Some parliamentarians, for instance, present up initially of the membership committee to signal the attendance register earlier than leaving the room. Others give proxy voting (the equal of an influence of lawyer, ed) to colleagues to take part in public votes.

“When you’re an official of the Nationwide Meeting, you’re on the service of the deputies. It’s at all times a bit difficult to use monetary penalties in such a context and while you do it, it’s that it actually goes far past”, he judges a excessive Nationwide Meeting official with BFMTV.com.

Even the pandemic which for a lot of months imposed very extreme measures on the Nationwide Meeting performed a task and made these guidelines out of date for a while.

All of the deputies talked about have been contacted. Excluding Edith Audibert, nobody responded to our requests. The Nationwide Meeting additionally didn’t reply our questions concerning the variety of deputies ultimately sanctioned. Nosdéputés.fr was used to depend the presence of the deputies, as was the web page of every deputy on the Nationwide Meeting web site which describes parliamentary work intimately.

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