Does a candidate have the right to re-paste his photograph on pamphlets and election posters? – Liberation

Assembly Election 2022case

Three candidates from Egalité Europe Ecologie, the party backing Emmanuel Macron, show faces that have no connection to those who appeared in their leaflets during June’s legislative elections.

Question asked by Karim on March 19

Is it part of the “covenant” between a candidate and the citizens to show his true appearance on election posters and pamphlets? The question arises in the wake of regional assembly elections. Following the Constitutional Council’s annulment of elections for the 2nd, 8th and 9th constituencies of the French population living outside France, regional assembly elections have been rescheduled for April 2 and 16, 2023 (April 1 and 15 in the US).

In this case, the Egalitarian Europe Ecology Party, which claims to be close to the “presidential majority”, presents three candidates for these constituencies: for the 8th constituency (Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, San Marino) Juliet de Cassance , Turkey, Palestinian Territories, Vatican); 2nd place goes to Tatiana Bodeva Malo (Latin America and Caribbean) and Samira Herbal 9th ​​place (Maghreb and West Africa). The party broadcasts on the platform reserved for this election Posters and occupations of the period Candidates, laughing a lot.

However, these faces bear little resemblance to the faces of the candidates. In any case, they differ greatly from the photographs that appeared in campaign pamphlets prepared ten months ago for the June assembly elections. These candidates tend to look younger, have more smiles and longer hair. Candidates Samira Herbal and Juliet de Cousins ​​are unrecognizable, even though Tatiana Boteva Malo poses wearing the same clothes.

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Contacted by Czech News, The candidate, Juliet de Cousins, explains the image, assuring her that it is indeed her. “Not photoshopped”. On the other hand, he suggests that it is an old photograph. “I’m not going to tell you if the photo is recent or not,” She says, sending us to pictures of her youth. Why this choice?

After filing his candidacy in the Ardennes in June, he admitted he had not “Not a good idea” With a picture “Hastily taken, pixelated and I’m not wearing makeup”. She says she has chosen “My best photo was asking the graphic designer to put warm lights like in Italy”, where is she He says that he chose this younger film and offered it to two other candidates, “Then I was able to draw inspiration from it”.

In fact, Samira Herbal gives the same explanation. “This is my photo”, She assures Czech News, Before agreeing to it“She has some time”. “Four or five years”, She evaluates. Asked about changing his image between the June and April elections, he begged to be desired “Replace content with my favorite image”. Retouching stage, the newbie dare not speak out “Imagine they had to slim it down a bit.” As for Tatiana Podeva Malo, Juliet de Cousins ​​loses it“She paid for a photography studio”, But he didn’t want to answer instead about his motivations. When asked, the Latin American candidate declined to comment on his image.

No prohibition is provided by French electoral law

Is it legal to retouch an image or select old election-related photos? This comment was not mentioned in the memorial for the candidates contesting the Legislative Assembly elections. The Ministry of Home Affairs only recalls it“It is forbidden: to print a poster on uniform white paper, except when they are covered with letters or colored illustrations (Art. 15 of the Law of July 29, 1881)” And “The French flag or a combination of blue, white and red, when it causes confusion with the national emblem, if it is the emblem of one or more parties or political groups (Art. L.48 and R. .27)”. That document says“Other than that, the references and content of the posters are not restricted”.

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Joined by verification message, Lawyer Jean-Christophe Ménard, specialist in electoral law, confirms it “Neither the Election Act nor the case law prohibits candidates from using retouched or photoshopped photographs of their faces. Such a ban would not only constitute an attack on candidates’ freedom of expression, but would be extremely difficult to enforce, as the degree to which a photo is altered in such a way as to be misleading must be determined. -à-to the voters.

During our exchange, Juliet de Caussons condemned the attacks and harassment. The Renaissance Party’s Twitter account for the French diaspora shared a set of two images of the candidate, ironically “I learned to use Photoshop”, And remembers it“He is not yet the candidate of the presidential majority”. The mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, is now dealing with Edouard Philippe within the party. horizons, joked on TwitterShe asked if she did “Identity Theft” And adding: “Your Twitter profile picture doesn’t match you.”

“It raises questions for me to convince people that they don’t have the right to choose their best photo and make their prettiest posters by disrupting their campaigns,” he said. Defends the candidate, although he must be part of the “presidential majority with Emmanuel Macron”.

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