Political Action Committee Calls For More Diversity in National Assembly

While the issue of gender equality in politics has been the focus of many initiatives in the last 30 years, other diversity issues, such as race, have made slower progress in the complicated political history of diversity in France.

In a speech to the Political Action Group for Blacks in France (Les Noirs de France dans l’action politique) June 1st, Dogad Dogui, president of “Diversity France” and former member of Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) under President Nicolas Sarkozy, spoke about the lack of diversity in the French Parliamentary System, but acknowledged the efforts of his former boss in the appointment of  Rachida Dati, Rama Yade and Fadela Amara to his administration.

The Political Action committee comes just nine days before the start of France’s legislative elections, where President Hollande’s party, the Parti Socialiste, hopes to gain a significant number of constituencies across the country to achieve a controlling majority.

However, across the political spectrum, the representation of French citizens of African descent in the National Assembly is almost non-existent. At Friday’s Political Action meeting, George Pau-Langevin (deputy of Paris’s 21st circumscription), the sole representative from metropolitan France of black-African origin. Representative Pau-Langevin lambasted what she felt were “meetings which do not ressemble what you would see on the street.

In the upcoming elections, PS has 10 nominees which represent what they refer to as “the diversity issue.” On the right, UMP has placed 15 of these candidates in the race, however some critics have claimed that these candidates are running to give a false sense of diversity within the party, and in circumscriptions where they have little chance of success.

Whether the National Assembly of 2012-2017 will demonstrate a more equal reflection of the nation’s ethnic makeup is to be seen, however future representation will likely require a sweep of initiatives and redrawing of constituencies by the Hollande administration before the results desired by Friday’s conference can be fully actualized.

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