16:35 GMT +317 December 2017
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    French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, June 22, 2017

    People Paid to Attend First Convention of Macron’s LREM Party

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    Amember of the French president’s party said that some participants of last month’s convention of La Republique En Marche! claimed they had been paid to attend.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some participants of last month’s convention of La Republique En Marche! (The Republic Onwards, LREM) claimed they had been paid to attend, a member of the French president’s party has told Sputnik.

    Tiphaine Beaulieu, a spokeswoman for LREM’s dissident group called Les Marcheurs En Colere (Angry Marchers), complained about chaos in the party’s ranks as unvetted people are being granted membership through its official website.

    "The party convention, which was meant to become a grand universal gathering of all its members… turned into a show. I talked to people who weren't even part of En Marche! I talked to people who were going to participate in this show – they told me they were paid to do this," Beaulieu said, adding this could come across as "fraud or crowd manipulation."

    She added that party members who criticized LREM’s inner workings were "systematically blacklisted" and had to reapply for membership using a different e-mail address. "We are starting to realize this has nothing to do with the high values we pursued," Beaulieu added.

    LREM was founded by then economic minister Emmanuel Macron in April 2016. He won the May 2017 presidential runoff as an independent centrist on the promise of change, while his party went on to win an absolute majority in the lower house of the French parliament.

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    La Republique En Marche, Emmanuel Macron, France
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