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AFP
July 15, 2020

Macron defends promotion of minister accused of rape

World

AFP
July 15, 2020

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron defended on Tuesday the appointment of a minister under investigation over a rape claim, saying nobody should be judged "by the street" or through social media.

Macron named 37-year-old Gerald Darmanin as interior minister earlier this month, outraging feminists and sparking street protests.

Promotion of the high-flying former budget minister came despite allegations from a woman that Darmanin raped her in 2009 after she sought his help in having a criminal record expunged, a claim he denies.

In his first public comments on the controversy, Macron said he respected "the emotion and anger of feminist causes". But he added: "If, from the moment someone is accused, but not tried, they somehow become the victim of judgment by the street or on social networks... our democracy changes its nature and it becomes a democracy of opinion." "I cherish this just cause of the fight against violence and real gender equality," he said during a television interview marking France’s national Bastille Day.