The re-elected President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has appointed a disabled person, Damien Abad, to head the Ministry of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disability.

According to Franck Seuret, a French journalist specializing in disability social policy, Abad, 42, who was appointed to the position this Friday, suffers from a rare disease that stiffens his joints (arthrogryposis).

Newly appointed on Friday, the new minister faces two rape accusations dating from 2010 and 2011, revealed by Mediapart and which he has denied “with the greatest force”.

In an article published on Saturday night, Mediapart states that Macron’s party and the Republicans received a report on May 16 about the accusations against the new minister, and the Prosecutor’s Office was also notified at the end of the week. .

The Paris Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed to AFP that it received “on May 20 a report from the Observatory of sexual and gender violence”, created in February by the feminist founders of the movement

“I strongly reject these accusations of sexual violence”, reacted, for his part, Damien Abad, former president of the deputies of Los Republicanos.

“I deny having exercised any form of coercion on any woman. Finally, I deny any abuse of power related to the functions I have performed. The sexual relations I have had throughout my life have always been by mutual agreement,” he added in a statement sent by the Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disability.

“These accusations refer to acts or gestures that are simply impossible for me because of my disability,” defends Damien Abad, who suffers from a rare disease, arthrogryposis, which blocks his joints and reduces his mobility.

“The sexual act can only take place with the assistance and benevolence of my partner,” adds who in 2012 was the first disabled person elected to sit in the Assembly.

According to testimonies collected by Mediapart, one of the two women who accuse him, 41, denounces some events that allegedly occurred during a party in the fall of 2010.

Damien Abad would have offered him a glass of champagne in a Paris bar. “And there, total blackout, until the next morning,” says this woman, who says she woke up with him “in a hotel room near the bar,” “in his underpants,” in a “state of shock and deep disgust.” she according to her account, and she shares her feeling of having been “drugged”.

The other woman, a 35-year-old former centrist activist, testifies about events that allegedly occurred in early 2011.

After having met Damien Abad in 2009, when she was vice-president of the Young Democrats in Paris, after having spoken with him “by text”, they would have met one afternoon in Paris and would have had a first consensual, then forced, sexual relationship with “lack of respect, mandate and insistence”.

According to Mediapart, in 2012 he went to a police station to make a statement, but then did not respond to the police. He filed a “rape” complaint in 2017 against him and the investigation was dismissed.

The Paris Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed to AFP “that a first complaint filed for acts of rape was dismissed on April 6, 2012 due to inaction by the complainant.” And that a “second complaint filed by the same complainant for the same facts was dismissed on December 5, 2017, after a preliminary investigation, due to a lack of sufficiently serious evidence.”

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne claims that she discovered these allegations on Saturday at Mediapart.

“I can assure you that if there are new elements, if justice intervenes again, all the consequences will occur,” he added to the media on a trip to Normandy, and assured that there could be “impunity” for “sexual violence” .

“There is a report that was made with an extremely high level of responsibility. They did not draw any conclusions”, said the anti-system leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, interviewed on Grand RTL-LE Figaro.-LCI.

“Mr. Damien Abad could also draw personal conclusions,” added the LFI leader, whose MP candidate Taha Bouhafs has withdrawn after several accusations of sexual violence.

The department that Abad, who comes from the center-right party Los Republicanos, will lead is not limited to disability, but encompasses solidarity and autonomy.

From the beginning of his career, Abad has been careful not to be pigeonholed into disability politics or social issues. Neither in the European Parliament, where he was elected in 2009, nor in the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council nor in the Ain Departmental Council, which he chaired from 2015 to 2017.

Elected deputy in 2012 and then in 2017, under the colors of the UMP and then of the Republicans, he took on true national relevance in the French Assembly. At the end of 2019, he became president of the group Los Republicanos, the main opposition force.

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