Can candidate Emmanuel Macron use President Emmanuel Macron’s social media accounts to spread information about his campaign? The answer is no for the National Commission for the Control of the Presidential Election Campaign (CNCCEP). In a statement released Friday, March 11, the institution criticized the outgoing president for posting his candidacy letter to the head of state’s official Twitter account, followed by 7.9 million subscribers.
“Such a message is related[e] electoral propaganda and given the characteristics of the use of this Twitter account, which has been used for a long time and mainly to transmit messages about the performance of his duties as President of the Republic, [est] it is best not to use this account for posting such messages”estimates the CNCCEP in this press release. The message, which was still present on Thursdaywas removed from the president’s Twitter account a few hours ago, according to research by the World† On Facebook, the post was still online Friday morning before it was removed again at noon, in the wake of the CNCCEP press release.
Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team reacts
In a letter addressed to the CNCCEP, that: The world could consult, the head of state’s campaign team nevertheless formulated the implicit request on Friday to accommodate all elected officials in the same boat. “The communication of this recommendation at this point in the campaign and the immediate and concrete implications of its implementation five weeks before the first round seem to us † go against the principle of fairness and equal treatment of candidates that you guarantee, as only Mr Zemmour and Mr Poutou can use their personal accounts”, they write. The Reconquest candidate! and those of the New Anti-Capitalist Party are indeed the only ones not holding public office.
Moreover, the macronists continue, if this decision were extended, according to them it would go “against the good performance of the campaign and the sincerity of the election, for which it is necessary to inform voters, while social networks have been given an increasing weight in this information, since almost all candidates will be unable to inform voters through the main account , sometimes unique, that they use on social networks”†
The CNCCEP general rapporteur, Isabelle de Silva, is no stranger to the top of the state. The latter had in fact expressed her “surprise”, in October 2021, following Emmanuel Macron’s decision not to renew her position as president of the competition authority. The person concerned then expressed her doubts about the relevance of the merger between TF1 and M6, which is assessed positively by the Elysée.
Election messages reserved for the campaign account
A retweet of a message from the candidate’s account (@avecvous) made by the head of state’s account on March 7, which relayed Mr Macron’s trip to Poissy (Yvelines), was also deleted on Friday. In its press release, the committee therefore calls on the outgoing chairman to: Please take care not to use this account to distribute messages related to election propaganda for the duration of the campaign, as these messages are intended to be distributed on the account specially created by the candidate and his team for the needs of the presidential election campaign†
In addition to this use of social networks, Emmanuel Macron has been regularly criticized since the beginning of the year for the porosity observed between the candidate in the campaign and the president in office. The National Rally’s candidate, Marine Le Pen, particularly approved “unhealthy” the start of Mr. Macron, calling on RMC on March 8 “the use of Elysée resources for the benefit of the candidate (dissemination of the letter, video, etc.)” or “the mix of genres between the candidate’s promises and the checkbook the president uses”† In its viewfinder, in particular, a video posted online on March 4 by Mr Macron’s campaign team, in which we see the head of state at the Elysée return to his candidacy announcement.
As early as January, the opposition criticized the moves of the president, who was not yet a candidate. In particular, the president of the Les Républicains (LR) party, Christian Jacob, had accused Mr Macron of having “campaign on state resources” by increasing the number of trips, a situation “not far from the embezzlement of public funds”he said in an interview with Figaro the end of January.
Since the official announcement of Mr Macron’s candidacy, these accusations have also extended to the ministers. Although there is still no official campaign team around the head of state, the opposition was surprised on Thursday 10 March that it was government spokesman Gabriel Attal who announced on RTL one of the flagship proposals of the candidate of La République en Marche, postponing the legal retirement age to 65 year.
“Minister Gabriel Attal announces pension reform at age 65 in the name of candidate Macron. Dangerous and rude mix of genresnotably denounced on Twitter, the deputy LR Eric Ciotti. The massive use of state resources for campaigns is a major democratic problem. “If Gabriel Attal wants to make campaign announcements, he must get out of government”added another LR deputy, Pierre-Henri Dumont.