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    France Outraged by 'Impunity at Elysee' Following Macron Aide Video – MP

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French society is very critical of the climate of impunity at the top of the French government amid revelations of the protester beating incident involving the president’s senior security adviser Alexandre Benalla, Nicolas Dhuicq, a spokesman at the Debout La France (France Arise) party, told Sputnik on Friday.

    "It is a straight attack on [French President Emanuel] Macron’s image as being a fair, well educated, nice smiling young man. It will have a political impact as the opposition can use it against Macron. Such incident at long last gives them the ammunition to attack him," Dhuicq said, noting that not only his political opponents but also the French people have now questioned Macron’s harsh critique of the political elite for impunity during his election campaigns.

    The politician went on to slam Macron's unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of the president and the excessive control over ruling party parliament members.

    READ MORE: French Police Union Sues Macron Aide Over Attack on Protester

    "Those who criticize power usually want to use and abuse it. Macron has built even more authoritarian system. No president in France before has concentrated so much power. For example, members of parliament who were elected from his party are much more controlled by their hierarchy, they have no freedom of speech and they can only repeat like parrots what they have been told to say to the media," he explained.

    A number of French opposition politicians have expressed their outrage regarding the situation. Head of The Republicans party Laurent Wauquiez denounced the video as "shocking." Jean-Luc Melenchon, the head of the left-wing Unsubmissive France (La France Insoumise) party, on Thursday called for a no-confidence motion against the government unless the latter provided explanations to the National Assembly over the incident with Benalla.

    Sebastien Cochard, a former French diplomat, his turn, stressed in a comment to Sputnik that Benalla's role in the president's team was likely too important to sacrifice him to the public.

    "It is all about the Elysee and the president and its services. And, yes, of course, the Elysee did not find anything really wrong about Benalla story apparently. This individual has probably an important personal role within the president’s team and he was covered," Cochard said, noting that Benalla was a private contractor recruited upon Macron’s personal will.

    On Thursday, media reported that Paris prosecutors had launched a preliminary investigation into Benalla over a recent attack on an anti-government protester. The high-profile case broke out after a May 1 video emerged capturing a man in riot police gear, supposedly Benalla, who tackled a young rioter to the ground and punched him repeatedly before fleeing.

    READ MORE: From Impersonating Cops to Biting Cabbies: Weird Violence by Macron's Associates

    The Elysee spokesman said Thursday that Benalla had been suspended for 15 days and temporarily left without pay. On Friday, the Elysee announced the decision to launch the firing procedure over new facts that came to its attention, local media reported. The man has been placed in custody over violent actions "committed by a person holding public office," the broadcaster said, citing Paris prosecutors.


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