Green party leader resigns after allegations

Die MeToo debate in France is getting out of hand. The leader of the green party Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV), Julien Bayou, has resigned after allegations of violence. His party colleague, the Paris MP Sandrine Rousseau, accused him on television of psychologically torturing his then partner and driving her to attempt suicide. There are no legal investigations, and there is no evidence. But Rousseau’s allegations were enough to “publicly execute” Bayou, according to intellectual Raphael Enthoven. The 42-year-old Green also resigned as the group leader in the National Assembly. He wants to stay on as a member of parliament.

On Monday afternoon, his lawyer, the renowned criminal defense attorney Marie Dosé, explained her client’s “untenable situation” to journalists. Bayou tried four times to testify before the Green Party body investigating violence against women, but was denied an appointment, Dosé said. The allegations were never precisely explained, so he could not defend himself. “The just fight against sexual violence is being misused for political purposes,” the lawyer said indignantly.

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The 50-year-old Rousseau is considered the political opponent of the “Realos” Bayou, one of the architects of the left-wing alliance Nupes. She describes herself as an “eco-feminist” and has made a name for herself with a campaign against “virile” summer meat-barbecue rituals. She describes her partner as “déconstruit”, which means that he has lost his masculinity. Rousseau was defeated in the selection of the presidential candidate and has been seeking political revenge since the poor performance of Yannick Jadot (4.6 percent of the vote).

Sandrine Rousseau in the National Assembly in August

Sandrine Rousseau in the National Assembly in August

Image: AFP

A new party executive is to be appointed by the end of the year, and Rousseau wants to put her candidate Mélissa Camara at the head of the party. Rousseau’s strategy met with criticism within the party. “It’s devastating for the cohesion of the party,” said Hélène Hardy, who is a member of the party executive. Already during the primary elections, Rousseau had tried to stylize himself as a victim of sexist violence. She accused the mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, of having brutally pushed her aside at an event.

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