French MPs threatened with guillotine ahead of crucial vote
French politicians are being threatened with the guillotine if they attempt to protect President Emmanuel Macron’s government from a pair of no-confidence votes in Parliament, according to a handful of MPs who claimed to have received death threats over the weekend. Police told French media that hundreds of such messages had been sent to lawmakers ahead of Monday’s vote.
MP Agnes Evren, vice president of the Republican Party, posted an image of a death threat that she said was sent to her on Sunday, which vowed “your heads will fall,” calling for “the guillotine for your face” for supporting Macron.
“These extremists refuse debate, have no respect for their political adversaries and are openly inspired by the Terror,” she tweeted, referring to the period of bloody executions that followed the French Revolution of 1789. Urging her followers not to “underestimate the danger,” she vowed to file a complaint for every such threat received.
🛑 Je reçois maintenant des menaces de mort. Ces extrémistes refusent le débat, n’ont aucun respect pour leurs adversaires politiques,s'inspirent ouvertement de la TerreurNe sous-estimons plus le danger. Chaque menace de ce type fera désormais l'objet d'une plainte. #démocratiepic.twitter.com/T9PH2iOJyI— Agnes Evren (@AgnesEvren) March 19, 2023
Evren reassured French broadcaster BFMTV on Saturday that only four or five of her party’s members would vote against Macron, far less than the 30 Republicans the no-confidence measure would require to succeed.
“We are receiving 200, 300, 400 [harassing] emails, day and night,” Republican MP Frederique Meunier told BFMTV. “We have the impression that tomorrow they will decapitate us. It’s terrible.”
Republican leader Eric Ciotti’s campaign headquarters in Nice were allegedly vandalized on Sunday. A paving stone was thrown through the window and the words “the motion or the stone” were spray-painted on the wall in reference to the no-confidence motion being debated on Monday. However, Ciotti doubled down on an earlier promise that no Republican deputy would vote against the government, vowing not to “give in to the new terror.”
Two Renaissance MPs claimed they had found threatening graffiti, including a hangman’s sign, outside their offices as the protests raged on this past weekend.
Opposition lawmakers from both left and right filed no-confidence motions in Parliament on Friday in response to Macron’s decision to ram the pension reform through the National Assembly without a vote on Thursday. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne’s announcement that no vote would be held on the measure elicited a chorus of “guillotine the dictator” from the audience in Parliament.
While strikes and protests had already gripped France in the weeks preceding the planned vote, the move set off several nights of violent riots and demonstrations as thousands thronged the streets of Paris, Lyon, and other major cities and burned Macron and other officials in effigy.