Adrien Quatennens in defense mode. After his four-month suspended prison sentence for in particular violence against his companion, the LFI deputy was removed from his group in the National Assembly for an equivalent periodbut said his desire to return from the month of January on the benches of the hemicycle. An “untenable position” which forces him to “sink” by seeking to save his mandate, analyzes the specialist in political communication Philippe Riutort.
According to this sociologist, this affair is also symptomatic of the risks of “political instrumentalization” of private life and of the problems of couples, which bring them, in a dangerous way for democracy, into “the political game”.
How do you analyze the speech of Adrien Quatennens, who, after a long silence, announced in an interview with BFMTV that he wanted to return to the Assembly “probably as early as January”?
“Until now he had played a low profile waiting for the case to settle, but after his conviction he turned around, he chose to play an offensive strategy rather than a defensive one, to go it alone to return to the Assembly. Obviously his approach is an admitted and half-forgiven fault. But nothing says that it is a winning strategy because obviously, he is therefore exposed to a whole lot of reproaches on the fact that his act of contrition would be absolutely insincere.
He will appear as a cold man who, to save his political career, does not hesitate to implicate his ex-wife and unpack the dirty laundry, as is often the case in difficult divorce proceedings. He defends himself badly and he even sinks because he is in reality in a largely inextricable situation. His position is in my opinion untenable, whatever he does.
Why is his position “untenable”?
“In reality, he doesn’t have much choice. Unless he agrees to lose his mandate by resigning, he can only counter-attack by getting bogged down in this affair and attacking his ex-wife, which a priori has no place in the political debate. That a matter of private life, that a divorce goes badly, it is sad, it is banal, but it is a matter a priori of which the citizens don’t have to know. So there is no way out.
But the initial contradiction is in LFI’s position, which is quite staggering. Why four months of suspension? Why not six months, or eight months? And what is it this rehabilitation course ? If he can come back afterwards, it is in any case that the fault is not that serious. Because if it is very serious, then he no longer has a place in politics.
But, in this case, why Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was condemned by justice, would not withdraw definitively from political life? There would be court convictions that would be worth a permanent withdrawal and others not? It is a process that is absolutely endless, unless ineligibility is provided for by law.”
What do you think of his accusations of being the victim of a “political” coup intended to “shoot him down” targeting Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who responded by announcing a defamation complaint?
“I think Adrien Quatennens is a bit lost and overwhelmed by events, which leads him to attack Gérald Darmanin by name. It doesn’t seem incredibly tactically fine. There is a little François Fillon side in 2017, there would be a black cabinet etc… It is hard to believe. But that this affair is exploited, including within rebellious France by possible competitors who did not really want to see him succeed Jean-Luc Mélenchon, it would be absolutely obvious banality.
We saw this very clearly at Europe Écologie-les-Verts with the Julien Bayou affair. From now on, private life, marital problems, can very well enter into the political game. The danger for democracy and public debate is when you put your finger in this type of gear, you have absolutely no idea where it ends, especially in invasions of privacy.