Rape allegations against French minister overshadow resumption of Macron government - BiticaNews


Rape allegations against a minister drawn from the opposition Conservative party overshadowed the first meeting of French President Emmanuel Macron's new cabinet on Monday, derailing efforts to resume his presidency.

Damien Abad, the newly appointed minister for Solidarity and Disability, denied on Sunday that he had raped two women, following accusations published by the website Mediapart in an article based on interviews with the women.

Macron's new prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, said she was unaware of the allegations when he joined the government, which Macron appointed on Friday after two weeks of efforts to strike a balance between gender, political persuasion and experience.

Abad, who was previously the leader of the opposition Conservative party in the House, was Macron's biggest bet on the centre-right ranks and an attempt to further weaken the party of former presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The women cited by the Mediapart report said that Abad forced them to have unwanted sex with him. The actions took place in late 2010 and early 2011, according to them.

One of the women filed a complaint with the police against Abad in 2017, which was closed with no action, Abad and Mediapart said.

Abad denied any wrongdoing and claimed that his disability, a disorder called arthrogryposis that affects all four limbs, made it physically impossible for him to commit the acts he was accused of.

Opposition politicians on the left have urged Macron to fire Abad.

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