In the middle of the week, several artists, such as Grand Corps Malade or Julien Doré, announced with humor their candidacy… for the presidential election. On social networks, some have renamed their tour a “meeting” to protest with irony against the new health restrictions.
Among the measures announced by Jean Castex on Monday to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is indeed the establishment of a gauge which limits indoor gatherings to 2,000 people and outdoors to 5,000 people. In addition, standing concerts are prohibited for a minimum of three weeks. New rules which endanger many events, as evidenced by the cancellation of the tour of rapper Orelsan “at least until January 25”.
The culture and sport sectors will therefore have to submit to the new health protocol. But not the politicians campaigning for the presidential election … who will be able to hold meetings without having to respect the gauges.
Democratic life: a constitutional principle
Many Internet users take the news with as much humor as some artists, but many of them do not understand this decision. So why are political meetings spared from health restrictions? This is not because the virus prefers cultural events to political gatherings, but it falls within the legal framework.
As Sébastien Chenu, the deputy and spokesperson for the RN, underlined on Europe 1 on Wednesday, the Constitution guarantees the holding of “political meetings and meetings without limitation”. Indeed, article 4 of the Constitution protects political freedom and opinion: “The law guarantees pluralistic expressions of opinions and the equitable participation of political parties and groups in the democratic life of the Nation. “
A balance to be found between political and health freedom
The Constitutional Council has spoken on the subject several times since the start of the pandemic. In May 2021, questioned on the law on the way out of the health crisis, he considered that “leisure” could be subject to restrictions, as opposed to political meetings: “The notion of leisure activity, which notably excludes a political, trade union or religious activity is neither imprecise nor ambiguous ”.
The Constitutional Council went further on November 9, the date on which the Wise Men rendered a decision on “the various health vigilance provisions”. He considered that if sanitary measures could intervene during the electoral period “the presentation of the” sanitary pass “cannot be required for access to polling stations or to political meetings and activities”.
Since nothing is imposed on them, the presidential candidates have done their own thing. The Insoumis and the National Rally have already announced that they will not apply the gauges applicable to concerts and other non-political gatherings. Logically, LREM executives said they would respect the restrictions within their meetings. In committee to the National Assembly on December 29, Olivier Véran also specified: “There is no will of the government to use double standards” between the world of entertainment and sport on the one hand. , and the policies of the other.
To decide on the question, the Prime Minister announced, during his speech on December 27, that a commission on the organization of the election would “undoubtedly” be convened by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, in the presence of all political formations. This will allow us to “agree on rules which are obviously protective in relation to the health situation but which take into account the specificity of this fundamental activity, that is to say ultimately the exercise of democracy”, he added during his press conference in Matignon.