The appointment of the far-right French lawmaker, José Gonzalez, as vice-president of the Algeria-France Parliamentary Friendship Group has caused widespread alarm because of his glorification of colonialism and denial of French colonial crimes in Algeria.
In a post on his Twitter account, Gonzalez announced his appointment as vice-president of the Algeria-France Parliamentary Friendship Group in the French Parliament saying; “I have the great pleasure to announce that I have been appointed as vice-president of the France- Algeria Friendship Group by the office of the National Assembly (French Parliament).” He added, “this appointment is the symbol of my special interest in French-Algerian relations.”
The appointment sparked widespread criticism and consternation with some critics describing the move as a joke. In his response to the tweet, one commentator said, “Gonzalez promotes the glorification of colonialism, and then he is appointed as vice president of a French-Algerian friendship group; what an absolute shame.” Another critic wrote, “The Algeria-France Parliamentary Friendship Group must not be represented, at any time, by a person who feels nostalgic to French Algeria and who defended colonialism.”
Gonzalez, who belongs to the far-right National Rally Party (RN) founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, was known for his chairing the first session of the French National Assembly (French Parliament) at the end of June 2022 because he was the oldest member of the new parliament after the recent legislative elections in France. He used the occasion to speak of his nostalgia for colonial Algeria where he was born and the injustice suffered by people of French and other European descent who were born there and left after independence.