Wednesday, May 29, 2024

France | Maid in the National Assembly

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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The legislative elections in France caused some surprises, including these…

Posted at 6:00 AM

Jean Christophe Lawrence

Jean Christophe Lawrence

Surprise? who is this ?

Rachel Kiki. Pronounce keké. She was elected last Sunday at 7e Val-de-Marne constituency, for the La France insoumise (radical left) party. Surprise because this 47-year-old Frenchwoman is the first maid to enter the National Assembly.

Maid’s room? good job!

Yes, especially since she beat Roxana Maracignano, the former Minister of Sports in Macron’s government! And by a very small margin, it must be said: only 177 votes separate them (50.3% vs. 49.7%)!

But where did Rachel Keke come from?

This mother of five arrived in France in 2000 and was naturalized in 2015. She came to prominence in 2019 during the 22-month strike of room maids at the Ibis hotel in the Paris region. This highly publicized labor dispute ended in favor of the strikers. Better salaries, better working conditions, and even a better uniform (cotton instead of synthetic)! This began his political career.

How do you see her role as a deputy?

As an extension of its union ambitions. It presents itself as “the voice of the voiceless”. She wants to defend the rights of invisible workers. Room maids, but also educators, caregivers, patron caretakers, security guards, etc. She often repeats that “there is no France without essential workers”. Coming from the working classes, she advocates a politics of proximity and promises that she will “roar” if necessary.

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In fact. ButI It wasn’t long before Kiki got caught up in the controversy. Some of his old Facebook posts, dating back to 2018, resurfaced this week on social media. She defended in particular the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the National Rally of Marine Le Pen, the apex of an immigrant on the left! She assumes, but says she has evolved in terms of ideas: “I have shared posts that absolutely do not reflect who I am and what I stand for today in my political struggle.”

Quite a baptism of fire!

Yes, and maybe it’s not over. Some political columnists already condemn her lack of education (she left school in the sixth grade). “You cannot be an MP and ignorant,” the right-wing polemicist Elizabeth Levy notably launched, calling for her not to wear her African bobo dress in Parliament. On the other hand, others see it as living proof that everyone, regardless of their origins and professional background, can be elected representatives.

She’s not the only one in this case, is she?

No, other extraordinary candidates will enter the French Parliament. A delivery driver who aspires to fight poverty, an organic agricultural worker, a pro-LGBTQ+ teleworker, a benefactor host, a mail lady, a caregiver, a former professional boxer cop, a taxi driver who fights against the “uberization” of the strip and – beware – a blind pianist, Vice champion of France in bodybuilding! We will not get bored!

Sources: France 24, ParisianAgence France-Presse, Radio Sud and Mediapart

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