Did the Congolese diaspora call for people to vote for Marine Le Pen ?

“I think this campaign might produce some surprises : even minorities refuse to obey the imposed order!” In a video posted with this message on the Facebook page “We love France“, a man shouts to a crowd of French people originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo: “We are going to vote“, and the crowd replies: “Le Pen”, after booing the names of politicians François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. But the video is not linked to the current presidential election: it’s from a demonstration on January 21st, 2012, the year in which the last presidential election took place, and the man with the megaphone today says that he had only wanted to be provocative.


The demonstration took place in Paris one month after Congolese president Joseph Kabila won a vote in 2011 – a result contested by the leader of the opposition, Etienne Tshisekedi. “It was like an inter-generational march: there were a lot of children. And even though the French election was in May, this meeting had nothing to do with politics at the start”, said one of the demonstration’s organisers, Youyou Muntu Musi (spokesperson for the RD Congo France collective), to a journalist of Les Observateurs de France 24, a media partner of CrossCheck. Indeed many children do appear in another video of the demonstration (scroll to approximately 2.35 minutes).

The man rousing the crowd with the megaphone is Francis Mondombo. At the time he was a member of a group opposed to Joseph Kabila, the ‘Resistant Fighters of Congo’. “When I shouted that (regarding Le Pen), it was just a provocation”, he told a journalist of Les Observateurs. “It was a warning, in order to criticize the fact that traditional parties didn’t want to take a position on French Africa and what was happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo [the reelection of Joseph Kabila]. It was as if I had said something like “If you don’t respect us, we’re going to vote for extreme political parties…At that time, some friends had blamed me for playing along with the Front National. But it was just to get a message across. Moreover, I didn’t vote for the Front National. With retrospect, when I see how this video is now going viral, I deeply regret those words”.



Does Macron want to get rid of family allowances?

This « joke » was very successful on Facebook before being swiftly taken down. On April 26th the headline « Macron suppresses family allowances » appeared on the flashinfo (‘flash news’) website. En Marche’s candidate never actually proposed such a policy. The website’s name is misleading as it is not a media outlet. Rather it is a platform where users can devise jokes to play a « prank » on their « friends ».

If one reads past the title, one cannot but suspect that this is a joke. The rest of the article is filled with spelling errors, the candidate’s name is feminized as « Emmanuelle » Macron, and the « joke » has racist elements: « Macron announced today at his rally that family allowances will be removed from all North African families and the itinerant community because their caravan would not be a principal residence anymore », the author writes.

In any case, the former economy minister never proposed a suppression of family allowances. Such a policy is not in his programme.

If he wished to change anything in family allowances, it would be to increase the family quotient.


Will Laurence Parisot be the next Prime minister of France if Emmanuel Macron is elected president ?

“International finance’s offensive is getting sharper”, the Facebook page of Breiz atao claimed at the beginning of an article entitled: “If Macron wins, Laurence Parisot, the former president of MEDEF [The “Movement of the Enterprises of France” – the largest employer federation] may get the role of Prime Minister“. In other words, En Marche’s candidate could have tapped up the former bosses’ boss for the role. This week, Mrs. Parisot indeed said she would be “ready” to help Emmanuel Macron, however, she also said that she had not had “any contact” with Macron about the prime minister’s office, and her candidacy was not well received in Macron’s team.

The Breton website, charged multiple times for inciting hatred or defamation, was partially removed from Google references in late March. According to an article in Marianne, which was reported by the radio station Europe 1, “in Emmanuel Macron’s circle, the former bosses’ boss insists on getting the Prime Minister’s position”. The weekly reminds Mrs Parisot she did want to hire Macron as MEDEF executive director back in 2006, and then asks about the possibility of her moving into Matignon [the prime minister’s office]. “I said, several times, I was available for things. I have experience, so I am credible. So, I can be ready”, was her answer.

The hypothesis is crippled by the secretary general of En Marche!, Richard Ferrand.

We are leading a campaign to gather and serve France, others are dreaming about their careers. Paltry, improper, vain.


Laurence Parisot took to Twitter to deflect from the article in Marianne. She noted that she had also told the weekly about the prime minister’s office that “At the moment, I don’t have any relationships with him or his team on this issue.”

Plain wrong, and I deny this in the article, even. No need to exaggerate something that doesn’t need to be.



Does Macron wash his hands after shaking hands with workers?

In a Tweet posted on April 21st, 2017, two days before the first round of the French presidential election, a Twitter account declared, based on a video, that Emmanuel Macron washes his hands after shaking hands with workers. However, the cited video was filmed after a fishing sequence, and not after a meeting with workers.

This video was shared by several Twitter accounts hostile to Emmanuel Macron, criticizing the En Marche candidate’s social contempt. The original sequence is extracted from a documentary on the ex-minister of Economy, broadcast in November 2016 on the French television channel France 3. Emmanuel Macron wipes his hands with a wet wipe after having handled an eel during a meeting with some fishermen.

The rumor that Emmanuel Macron washed his hands after having shaken those of workers arose from a fake interview which appeared in June 2016 on the French satirical website Le Gorafi. “When I shake a poor person’s hands, I feel dirty for the rest of my day“, the candidate is claimed to have said. This fake quote was taken seriously by some pages supporting Vladimir Putin and by websites linked to the Far Right, such as Résistance Républicaine.

During his eventful visit to the Whirlpool factory on Wednesday, April 26th, Emmanuel Macron was confronted with this rumor multiple times.

Etienne Baldit, a journalist at Lab d’Europe 1, reported that Macron was notably challenged by a woman who asked him if he would accept to shake workers’ hands. “I’ve always shaken hands with anybody”, the candidate answered, as we can see in the video posted on his Facebook account (starting from 30 min 27 sec).

We hear other Whirlpool workers refer to this rumor in the last minute of the video, less audibly.