Can a Yellow Vest leader declare himself president? French MP denounces recognition of Guaido

Can a Yellow Vest leader declare himself president? French MP denounces recognition of Guaido
France's recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president sets a dangerous precedent, MP Jean-Luc Mélenchon has warned, arguing it's similar to declaring a Yellow Vest protester as France’s legitimate ruler.

Mélenchon, a firebrand of the left and outspoken critic of Emmanuel Macron, said that France’s decision to support Guaido was tantamount to “recognizing an adventurer who proclaims himself president.” Describing such a policy as “not a good thing,” the head of the leftist La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party drew a parallel to the current political upheaval in France.

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“If we do that, Mr Drouet will be President of the Republic,” Mélenchon quipped, referring to a prominent figure in the protest movement which has rocked France since November.

Mélenchon previously expressed support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, condemning the “coup plotters” who are trying to overthrow him.

“France does not support Venezuela’s coup plotters – only [President Emmanuel] Macron does!” the MP tweeted on Monday. “Resist! Nicolas Maduro is the president of Venezuela. Peace and freedom for Venezuela.”

France was among a handful of European states that issued an ultimatum to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in January, demanding that the South American country hold elections within eight days. With their demand unmet, Paris joined Germany, Spain, the UK, and others in announcing that it would recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate ruler.

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