Newly released documents reveal the French elite planned to neutralize Marine Le Pen in the event that she won the French Presidential election in May.
According to L’Obs, a small secretive group of ministers, chiefs of staff and senior civil servants hatched a plan to render Le Pen powerless and unable to leave the European Union if she had won against Macron.
The French establishment feared that if Marine Le Pen won, their New World Order vision for the future of Europe would be left in tatters, according to French media.
The magazine said the plan was aimed at preventing civil unrest and “freezing” the political situation by convening parliament in emergency session and maintaining the outgoing prime minister in office.
The Guardian reports: Police and intelligence services were particularly concerned by the threat of “extreme violence” from mainly far left protesters in the event of a Le Pen victory as the country would have found itself “on the brink of chaos”.
Even before the first round of voting on 23 April, a confidential note drawn up by the intelligence services announced that “without exception, every local public safety directorate has expressed its concern”, Le Parisien reported.
Regional police chiefs were asked on 21 April to detail their crowd control and deployment plans, l’Obs said. Under France’s ongoing state of emergency, more than 50,000 police and gendarmes and 7,000 soldiers were already on duty.
On 5 May, two days before the second round that Macron won by 66% to Le Pen’s 34%, the national public safety directorate warned in another note that protesters were ready to use “fireworks, mortars and incendiary bombs”.
Fears of political instability if the anti-immigration, anti-EU Front National leader had been elected were equally acute. Although he subsequently denied saying so, French media reported before the election that if Le Pen won, Socialist prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve would stay on at least until the parliamentary polls.
France’s constitution does not oblige a prime minister to step down when a new president is elected. Under article 8, “the president appoints” prime ministers – but only parliament can remove them from office, through a vote of no confidence.
Le Pen could in principle have invoked article 16 of the constitution, allowing a president “extraordinary powers” in an acute emergency. But short of that, without a parliamentary majority she would not have been able to appoint a new premier.
According to l’Obs, the emergency plan also called for parliament to be convened in emergency session on 11 May, four days after the second round, to address the predicted “national crisis” precipitated by Le Pen’s election.
Faced with mounting civil disorder and demanding France’s 577 MPs step up to their “republican responsibilities”, the government was then to have called – and, presumably, won – a motion of confidence.
The will of the electorate would have been respected: the presidency would have passed from François Hollande to Le Pen. But the government, officials said, would have assured “the security of the state … Government is about planning ahead.”