French President Macron’s election campaign under scanner over illegal funding, links to US firm

French President Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 and 2022 election campaigns are under the scanner of the country’s financial prosecutors for alleged illegal financing and the suspected role of a US consulting firm in the electoral contest.

India Today Web Desk

New Delhi,Updated: Nov 25, 2022 08:46 IST

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a reception for French mayors at the Elysee Palace in Paris on November 23. (Photo: AFP)

By India Today Web Desk: French President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign The country’s financial prosecutors are under the scanner for alleged illegal financing and ties to US consulting firm McKinsey.

Reuters reports that the US consulting firm’s role in Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 and 2022 presidential campaigns has been investigated. Campaign funding is tightly regulated in France, with company financing illegal and financing by individuals strictly limited.

Another investigation is the alleged favoritism and “conditionality” in which the French government held McKinsey responsible for public contracts. A Senate inquiry has found that the government has signed contracts worth at least €2.4 billion with consultancy firms since 2018. Consultancy was also included for the covid vaccine rollout

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The prosecutor’s office has now widened an existing investigation into alleged tax fraud by consulting group McKinsey to include the consulting group’s role in the 2017 and 2022 election contests, Reuters reported. McKinsey has denied any wrongdoing.

If it is confirmed that the investigation targets Macron’s campaign, it would be the closest a judicial inquiry has come to Macron, who came to power on a promise to clean up politics in France.

Although French newspaper Le Parisien said the investigation targeted Macron’s campaign, it did not say it targeted the president. Also, Macron enjoys immunity while in office.

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An investigation does not necessarily imply a prosecution or criminal. According to a report, it could take years for such investigations to be postponed or go to trial.

The use of private consultants by Macron’s government erupted as an unexpected issue before this spring’s presidential election, in which Macron won a second term.

Opponents have accused Macron’s government of spending too much on international consultants that pay too little tax in France.

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