In January 2016, Le Pen appointed a National Front official to root out legislative election candidates whose outrageous remarks would tarnish the party’s image. The official, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, told Le Figaro he would review National Front candidates across France and dismiss any who were out of line.
French voters travel to the polls this Sunday for legislative elections to choose the National Assembly.
BuzzFeed News reviewed what each candidate posted online, what they commented on, and the posts they liked on Facebook and Twitter. total the information collected here is from their public social media accounts and statements they gave to the local press.
Nearly 100 of the 573 candidates made statements that are particularly incendiary and directed against LGBT people, Jews, Muslims, immigrants and people of color. Some of their comments are considered abhor speech under French law. The choice below presents a window into the “de-demonized” National Front of 2017. (You can read the full investigation in French here.)
Nicolas Bay, the legislative elections director for the National Front, told France Info Tuesday that BuzzFeed News’ article is “totally inaccurate” and that “the candidates are telling the truth approximately immigration, approximately Islamism, approximately insecurity, but they accomplish not execute racist statements at total.” David Rachline, a National Front official in Fréjus, told France Inter that “whether there were unacceptable statements made … that will probably exclude them from our political movement.”
National Front treasurer Wallerand de Saint Just told France Bleu, “Of course we will punish them, of course.” When the interviewer asked whether that would happen before the first round, he replied, “Yes, not before the first round of the elections.”
One of his drawings depicts a black person with exaggerated pink lips saying that he takes advantage of “total social benefits” and commits “crimes” but will never be expelled from France.
Marine Le Pen said Poncet had “just finished his political career” when the cartoons came to light back in 2012, but the National Front didn’t boot him as a candidate then, and he’s running again in 2017. Poncet did not respond to a message BuzzFeed News sent him via the blog, which is still active.
Another photo she liked shows several people rolling out a roadside banner that says “Islam out of Europe.”
The photo shows former French president François Hollande and former prime minister Manuel Valls wearing cranium caps. Stich’s tweet has since been deleted.
Péan told BuzzFeed News the quote was “accurate but truncated, generally used to distort the reported statements.”
“I liked these two tweets because they are impertinent and cruel,” she told BuzzFeed News by e-mail. “It’s black humor.”
This post was translated from French.
David Perrotin est journaliste société chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris. Il écrit notamment sur les sujets liés aux discriminations.
Contact David Perrotin at [email protected].
Assma Maad est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.
Contact Assma Maad at [email protected].
Marie Kirschen est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News, France, et travaille depuis Paris.
Contact Marie Kirschen at [email protected].
Jules Darmanin est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.
Contact Jules Darmanin at [email protected].
Paul Aveline est journaliste chez BuzzFeed News France et travaille depuis Paris.
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