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French official resigns amid outcry over 2010 domestic abuse conviction

Pierre Glachant, AFP | Archival photo of the Socialist Party’s logo at the Toulouse congress on 27 October, 2012
2 min

A French official stepped down on Sunday from the ruling Socialists' administrative body – just a day after he was appointed to the post – amid calls for his resignation over his 2010 conviction on domestic violence charges.

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Yacine Chaouat was convicted on domestic violence charges in March 2010 and received a six-month suspended sentence. Chaouat promptly resigned from his then post as deputy mayor of the 19th arrondissement (district) of Paris, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.

Sunday’s announcement that he was being appointed as deputy national secretary for integration in the Socialist Party sparked outrage on social media and calls for him to resign immediately.

One of the calls for Chaouat’s resignation came from former culture minister Aurélie Filippetti, who told French channel BFM TV that Chaouat "should resign or be resigned".

Chaouat countered that he had made a "mistake" and had already paid his debt to society.

“I’m the subject of attacks on social networks and since that also reflects on the entire Socialist Party, I submitted my resignation from this post. I made a mistake six years ago, and justice was done. After paying my debt, I regret that people wish to apply a double penalty to me,” Chaouat said in a statement Sunday night.

“It is with sadness that I note that in France today, one does not have the right to a second chance when one is Muslim,” he added.

His appointment prompted the opposition to call on the Socialists to "clarify" its stance on the issue of domestic abuse.

“The [Socialist Party] must quickly clarify its position on violence against women: no impunity, no excuses by elected officials,” said Valérie Debord, a deputy secretary general of France’s main opposition Les Républicains (formerly the UMP) party.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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