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Diving into the secrets of the National Assembly

This article comes from “Figaro Magazine”.

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Diving into the secrets of the National Assembly

This article comes from “Figaro Magazine”

Those who thought they knew everything about the National Assembly and its functioning will be surprised when reading the latest book by Wally Bordas (Secret Stories of the National Assembly). Journalist at Le Figaro, responsible for monitoring the debates within the Palais-Bourbon, Wally Bordas was interested in everything new and curious that happened in this prestigious enclosure.

It was he who taught the staff of the Renaissance group's communications department that the office they occupied had been a dungeon, intended to lock up unruly deputies! He also relates in his work the episode during which, in October 1880, Count Léon Armand de Baudry d'Asson was locked up there for a few days on the orders of the President of the Chamber, Léon Gambetta. The Vendée parliamentarian had “vehemently interrupted the debates with numerous questions”. We can already imagine certain political leaders today regretting that such a space no longer exists in the National Assembly to calm the fury of certain colleagues on the benches of the hemicycle...

Though! Reading the rest of the story, we realize that the royalist deputy became “in the space of a few days a true popular hero”. The press seized on his misadventure and made him an icon of the opposition. Enough to give pause to successive presidents who have avoided repeating such a sanction. “Until the sanction in question ended up completely disappearing from the internal regulations of the institution, after the fall of the Third Republic.”

Floods, fire, occupation by the Nazis, the building on the left bank of Paris experienced many upheavals, in addition to lively political contests. Or secret negotiations, generally conducted outside the chamber. In the office of the President of the National Assembly, in particular. “A place of power par excellence where important decisions are often made,” assures Wally Bordas who brings the current occupant of the place, Yaël Braun-Pivet, to speak: “It’s a place where no one sees us, where the we can talk to each other face to face. This is the place where I will be safe. It’s not at the refreshment bar that you can have these kinds of conversations.”

This place of power is obviously extremely coveted by politicians. This is what journalists Jean-Pierre Bédéï and Annabel Roger say in their book (Au perchoir. The secrets of the presidents of the National Assembly): “The presidency of the National Assembly constitutes one of the most coveted positions in the Republic. And for good reason! It carries with it a mixture of powers, splendor and financial advantages which explain why it arouses the appetite of candidates who can also see it as a springboard for their political career.

Like Laurent Fabius or Philippe Séguin who made it a political platform allowing them to continue to weigh in the debates and to bounce back while their rivals (Lionel Jospin and Alain Juppé) occupied the position of prime minister. A position which also allows us to dream of the one opposite, on the right bank, at the Élysée. Even if none, apart from Jacques Chaban-Delmas, managed to appear before the voters in the presidential election!

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