Raphaël Arnault, Fiche S, Antifa extremist elected in France

by | Jul 10, 2024 | News

Raphaël Arnault, the Antifa extremist has been elected in the 1st constituency of Vaucluse. The French radical is flagged as a Fiche S by the French authorities and he has been under state surveillance since then.

In France, Fiche S is an indicator used by law enforcement to flag an individual considered to be a serious threat to national security. It is the highest level of such a warning in the country.

Raphaël Arnault in 2021 at a rally in support of Philippe Poutou’s presidential campaign.

Photo by NPA – L’Anticapitaliste, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The newly elected far-left politician was sentenced in February 2022 to a four-month suspended prison term for group violence, which he appealed. The anti-fascist radical is alleged to have participated in the assault of a man he suspected of belonging to a right-wing group. He remains presumed innocent to this day, despite being identified by the victim.

A figure that divides opinions even within the left

The French extremist also divides opinion within his left-wing coalition. Fabien Roussel (Communist Party) reportedly asked La France Insoumise (Raphaël’s Party) to remove him from the electoral run, without success. The senator from Vaucluse, Lucien Stanzione (Socialist Party) also took a similar position, stating: ‘we can’t be part of a violent movement and claim to support democracy.’

Arnault secured his election thanks to a strategic move by Emmanuel Macron’s party and the rest of the left-wing alliance. They withdrew their own candidates to avoid splitting the vote and to prevent Marine Le Pen’s party (RN) from gaining more seats in the second round. This tactic encouraged voters to support either the far-left or the presidential party. Arnault had initially come in second place behind the RN candidate in the first round.