French right-wing lawmaker Claude Goasguen dies of Covid-19

French MP Claude Goasguen in November 2014.
French MP Claude Goasguen in November 2014. © AFP/Parick Kovarik

Claude Goasguen, a French right-wing figure and a lawmaker with the Les Républicains political party, died on Thursday at the age of 75 after contracting Covid-19.


Claude Goasguen was a right-wing figure with a sometimes volcanic temperament and a long political career, particularly in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.

In November last year, Gloasguen became Rachida Dati's political adviser in the local elections campaign in Paris, after having maintained tense relations with the LR (Les Républicains) candidate.

He had previously advocated an alliance between his party and LREM (La République en marche) with the aim of "beating Anne Hidalgo", the socialist mayor.

A pugnacious speaker, the Paris MP was also a short-lived Minister for State Reform in Alain Juppé's first government in 1995.

In addition to his time in government, he sat in the Assembly almost without interruption since 1993.

He had been mayor of the 16th arrondissement of Paris from 2008 to 2017, before choosing his term of office as a member of parliament because of the ban on holding multiple mandates.

Homeless centre controversy

In 2016, he was notable for spearheading the virulent opposition of some residents of the very chic Parisian district against a centre for the homeless on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne.

He had compared the project to "Sangatte", in reference to the former migrants' centre in Calais, and a year later gave his approval to the opening of a second centre.

Successively UDF, then Démocratie libérale (Alain Madelin), he had been a member of the founders' council of the UMP in 2002.

Last year, for the presidency of LR, he had supported Julien Aubert, one of the representatives of the sovereignist branch, against Christian Jacob in particular.

A Paris councillor since 1983, Claude Goasguen had been deputy to Jacques Chirac and Jean Tiberi, in charge of international relations and then of school and university life.

At the time of Jacques Chirac's death in September, he hailed him as "a model" who had taught him "everything about politics".

Born on 12 March 1945 in Toulon, this lawyer by profession was dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Paris XIII (from 1982 to 1986) and lecturer at HEC Economics School.

Far-right movement

He had been president of the 'Corpo d'Assas', a student union close to the far-right organisation 'Occident', but had denied belonging to it.

Proud of his provincial origins, he did not fail to point out that he had come to Paris for a university career of "excellence".

He was a member of the Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee and a member of several study groups, notably on Eastern Christians, anti-Semitism and the Kurds.

A Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit, Claude Goasguen was married and father of two children.

(with AFP)

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