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Featured Fachkräftemangel EckertDaniel Candy Haus Michael (FDP) Virginia Foxx

Bayou affair, SMS, low blows ... Before its congress, EELV with fire and blood

"Nothing is going well.

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Bayou affair, SMS, low blows ... Before its congress, EELV with fire and blood

"Nothing is going well. Everything is collapsing around us and we should keep smiling?" This framework of the direction of Europe Ecology-The Greens has a lot on his stomach, and he is not the only one. At the heart of an unprecedented storm, between accusations of harassment against Julien Bayou and a congress at loggerheads which starts before time, the green party sees its future darken a little more. The open crisis is matched only by the haemorrhage at the time of the Hollande quinquennium, years of electoral failures, splits and a virtual disappearance. "I believe there is a danger of an explosion of EELV. It's so tense that it could explode", predicted Sandrine Rousseau before the summer. Cassandra perhaps, a harbinger no doubt.

Whose fault is it ? Who fired the first bullet and why? No one really knows and everyone has a culprit in mind. The same names keep coming back. EELV has its nose in the stream, it is the fault of Rousseau (Sandrine) for some. Others judge Julien Bayou and the potential future leader of the party Marine Tondelier responsible for the situation. There are also some who blame Yannick Jadot. It does not matter if he has always kept away from the internal affairs of the party, he is criticized for his campaign, his score in the presidential election and his disappearance since April. The green family is torn apart, and the internal war has only just begun.

What is known, however, is the date of the start of the trouble. A Monday evening, September 21, 2022, a little after 7 p.m. on the set of C à vous, on France 5. For twenty-four hours, the Quatennens affair has been roughing up Nupes and rumors target Julien Bayou, still national secretary of EELV. Green MP Sandrine Rousseau answers a question on the subject. The previous weekend, the latter called the ex-spouse of Julien Bayou to ask her permission to speak about the report she made to the investigation unit on sexual and gender-based violence internal to EELV.

"I received the ex-companion of Julien Bayou for a very long time, I think that there are indeed behaviors which are likely to break the moral health of women", she explains on the set of the show, speaking of a woman "in a very depressed state" who allegedly "attempted suicide". An EELV deputy who had plugged in his television then chokes, by SMS: "It's disgusting what she did! DISGUSTING! She's an inquisitor..." Atmosphere.

In the following days, the pressure swept over Julien Bayou who went on a media diet, left his position as group president of EELV deputies in the National Assembly; then, this Monday, September 26 in the early morning, announces resignation from the head of the party. That same day, the ecologist counter-attacked through the voice of his lawyer, Marie Dosé. Speaking on her behalf, she details the conditions of a "very painful separation" between the two and questions the complainant's "behaviour".

The lawyer details a correspondence between Bayou and his ex-girlfriend of June 30, 2022. That day, says Marie Dosé, "she sends him a message to offer him to 'keep the house' that they had acquired together, house she occupies today. Two hours later, the same "transmitted to the family and friends of Julien Bayou, to Sandrine Rousseau and to the EELV reporting unit, an email qualifying his former companion as a "cowardly manipulator" and evoking his intention to "die to protect others." Four days later, on July 4, she sent another email that the lawyer described as "threatening and hateful": "She assured him of her desire to put him out of harm's way ' and predicts a 'painful fall'". And Me Dosé also quotes the conclusion of the email: "Your mother vomits you up from where she is." "Do we need to remember that Julien Bayou's mother died when 'He was barely 5 years old?' the lawyer protested.

Sandrine Rousseau, she denies having nailed Bayou to the pillory. “The best interest of the party is not to protect the members who pose a problem but to keep them away”, estimates the entourage of the deputy. But no one is unaware that Bayou and Rousseau oppose each other, sharply, since the environmental primary of September 2021. No one is unaware either that a congress has already started, at least in fact, within EELV. "It's a way to settle his account, no one is fooled," said a close friend of Bayou, disgusted. Sandrine Rousseau, who cannot be a candidate for the leadership of the party, sent a janissary: ​​Mélissa Camara, elected municipal EELV in Lille, little known to the general public and whom many officially present as "Rousseau's candidate".

Facing her, the designated successor of Bayou: Marine Tondelier. This EELV municipal councilor from Hénin-Beaumont took the lead this summer by launching "La Suite", a sort of internal motion in the movement, of which a good part of its members are at the helm. Tondelier and his supporters do not hide their desire to change the internal operating rules before the congress, scheduled for the end of the year. They even organized a referendum whose methods of organization were cheerfully denounced by their “Rousseauist” opponents, their “Jadotist” opponents and the other minority lines. A voting site insistently calling for a "yes" vote, forgetting to present the "no" argument, repeated bugs, feedback from activists who indicate "only having the choice to vote between yes and yes". "A referendum worthy of those organized in the Donbass", protests a member of the party.

The Tondelier clan, "the firm" as its detractors call it internally, failed to win the referendum it had organized itself, for lack of participation. And since then, the atmosphere between party executives has soured a little more. Insults and reproaches fuse. Former national secretary David Cormand is suspected of playing "the godfather", of "manipulating" Tondelier after having done the same with Bayou, and of "wanting to crush internal opposition". They deny it, prefer not to comment on anything. "If it continues on this register, it will blow up...", predicts one of their relatives who is asked if the party risks splitting: "Anything is possible given the level of tension. It might be a bad for good..."

"There are always excesses here. I don't want to be worried about that," admits MP Charles Fournier, who hopes that the congress will take place more peacefully than at present. Karima Delli also wants to calm things down. "Congress situations are always tense," said the MEP, aware that the party must change, including in its internal management of cases of sexual and gender-based violence: "I thank all the people who work in these cells, but we have to put everything back together. Political parties cannot be the judges of instruction. It is not the court of opinion."

Congress obliges and denunciations go all out, EELV is not going to stop washing its dirty laundry in public anytime soon. Has it ever worked differently? Since its return to the National Assembly last June, proud of its twenty elected deputies, the green party has struggled to make its voice heard, outdated by Jean-Luc Mélenchon on many subjects (nuclear power, ecological bifurcation, etc. ). He even left the hand to the Socialists, yesterday weakened, and prefers to speak about these internal problems at the time of the climatic shocks. In short, EELV can't do it anymore. Why continue together?

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