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Les Patriotes marching against

Thoughts on the impeachment of a French president

"Resistance!" A new demonstration held by the Patriotes party in Paris against the EU, NATO and Macron on Saturday, was evidently a great success: French media ignored it.

Published: September 19, 2022, 8:25 am

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    At the call of the leader of the Patriotes, Florian Philippot, a rally was held in Paris on 17 September to protest against Emmanuel Macron’s policy of rationing and to demand his dismissal, and more broadly against NATO and the EU.

    For months now, Philippot has carried the torch of the opposition to the government in the streets of Paris. Under a “Resistance” banner, “tens of thousands” of people gathered, according to the former MEP, to ask French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “to get out of the way”.

    They also gathered to defend “freedom, peace and sovereignty”, in Florian Philippot’s words. The leader of the Patriotes took the opportunity to call to order the French media who would like to make people believe that these rallies are “holograms created by Putin”, an explicit reference to LCI which at the beginning of September had denied the very existence of one of its demonstrations because it was reported in the Russian press.

    At the time of writing, nearly 48 hours after the rally, it should be noted that the mainstream media has apparently not reported on the rally, and the prefecture has not yet issued a statement on the event.

    Philippot mentioned in other tweets a “phenomenal presence for [the impeachment] of Emmanuel Macron, peace, Frexit, exit from NATO, refusal of rationing and sanctions”, and a “considerable crowd”.

    Is it possible to impeach Macron?

    French lawyer Damien Viguier has offered some thoughts on the calls for impeaching president Macron.

    “The French Head of State may commit the most serious crimes, but it has become legally impossible to prosecute him or her while in office. On the other hand, the High Court can declare his impeachment in case of a breach of duty by the President of the Republic that is clearly incompatible with the exercise of a mandate. And we are hearing more and more about the implementation of this procedure.

    “I am not commenting on the relevance of impeachment on the merits. For while the substantive reasons may be very serious, they may also be very slight. The terms of the Constitution are sufficiently vague for impeachment to be easily justified. What are the ‘duties of a President of the Republic’? What can constitute a ‘breach’? Finally, how will it be ‘manifestly incompatible with the exercise of a mandate’? This is not the issue.

    “I am only concerned with the procedural aspect of impeachment. It was the subject of a reform under Sarkozy. And from now on everything is locked up. Here are the six stages of this procedure (given Article 68 of the Constitution and the Organic Law of 24 November 2014). We will see that there is almost no chance for a procedure to go through all its stages and lead to impeachment. And the problem with this kind of blockage, in the event of a serious crisis and abuse of power, is that the only solution remains a coup d’état.”

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