The election to the presidency of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) completed, Bernard Laporte, whose mandate has been renewed for four years, like his opponent, Florian Grill, must now have their campaign accounts validated. They are required to submit them to the Federal Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct within three months of the close of the ballot, which occurred on Saturday, October 3. Especially for “Prevent any conflict of interest”, specifies the internal regulations of the federation.
Contacted by The world, the Florian Grill team announces a campaign budget of nearly 100,000 euros. No response from that of Bernard Laporte.
If the identity of the donors has not filtered, Florian Grill, leader of the League of Ile-de-France, had received the encouragement of Claude Bébéar and Jean-René Fourtou, according to the magazine Challenges : the founder of the Axa insurance group and the former chairman of Vivendi’s supervisory board called, during a private meeting, to vote for him.
The limits placed on the intervention of the federation or the league
In June, the ethics and professional conduct committee of the FFR recalled the need for the presentation by a candidate ” the results of the management of the mandates that he holds or that he has held (…) is the sole responsibility of the said candidate ”. And so that its “Campaign expenses” are not the responsibility of the federation, which is supposed to remain neutral with a view to the ballot.
In the chapter “Financing prohibited” (article 9), the statutes and internal regulations of the federation indicate that “The FFR, its decentralized or assimilated bodies, as well as the National Rugby League, cannot participate in the financing of the electoral campaign”. Whether in the form of donations, or “Goods, services or other direct or indirect benefits”.
In November 2018, the daily The team had unearthed an internal document at the FFR attesting to a roadmap for pro-Laporte candidates to win the Regional League elections a year earlier, with the help of federal employees. The revelation did not, however, call into question the elections concerned.
Still according to its internal regulations, the FFR “Cannot transfer any personal data for which it is responsible for processing for purposes other than those for which this data was collected”. In other words, the federation cannot put its resources at the service of a candidate’s communication.
Saturday July 4, the FFR announced by press release the holding of a “Press point (…) organized with Bernard Laporte at the beginning of next week”. Finally, this press point had not been confirmed by the FFR. And it was through an interview given to Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday of the following week that the outgoing president declared himself a candidate for his own succession.
For his lightning campaign, Bernard Laporte notably worked with a press officer outside the FFR. On the other hand, it is impossible to know who continued to administer the official Twitter and Facebook accounts of the president of the federation during his candidacy. On September 22, they published a text signed Bernard Laporte while the latter was in police custody as part of the preliminary investigation of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office which is also targeting him.
This year, in addition to the creation of a commission to supervise electoral operations, the FFR has created the addition of an “electoral code” in its statutes and internal regulations. The text specifies that a candidate’s financial representatives cannot appear on his list. However, according to information from World, the “association for financing the electoral campaign of Bernard Laporte” almost put itself in danger for having initially ignored this point of regulation.
Declared in the prefecture of Savoie on June 23, it first had Yves Chenal as treasurer, also in 30e position on 38 of the list M. Laporte. Until a change of seat and treasurer of the association, recorded in a declaration in the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales, on July 30. Four days before the official deposit of the lists place, recorded in a declaration in the prefecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales, on July 30. Four days before the official filing of the lists.