|Deputy of the French National Assembly|
June 6, 2002
|Preceded by||Maurice Ligot (UDF)|
|Constituency||5th District of Maine-et-Loire|
|Mayor of Cholet|
June 19, 1995
|Preceded by||Maurice Ligot|
|Regional Councillor of Loire|
March 15, 1998 – August 1, 2002
|Chairman of the CNIP|
October 24, 2009
|Preceded by||Annick du Roscoät|
April 15, 1960 |
Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France
Gilles Bourdouleix (born April 15, 1960 in Angers, Maine-et-Loire) is a French politician and a member of the National Assembly of France. He is also the former spokesman of the National Centre of Independents and Peasants, of which he has been the president since October 24, 2009. Bourdouleix was a founding member of the Union of Democrats and Independents, a party from which he resigned on July 24, 2013.
Gilles Bourdouleix was elected mayor of Cholet the first time on June 19, 1995 with a lead of 148 votes. He succeeded Maurice Ligot who was his Chief of Staff. He was elected mayor again in the second round of voting in March 2001 with 61.69% of the votes. He was again reelected in 2008.
In 2002, Bourdouleix was elected a member of the National Assembly of France as a member of the UMP. He has continued to serve in the office since then, though switching parties to Union of Democrats and Independents for his third election in 2012 and then leaving parties all together in August 2013. Bourdouleix represents the department of Maine-et-Loire.
In July 2013, Bourdouleix garnered controversy for allegedly saying Adolf Hitler had not killed enough Romani people. Bourdouleix, who had been faced with Nazi salutes and accusations of racism, is said to have stated about a group of Romani people in exasperation, "It's almost as if Hitler didn't kill enough [of them]." On July 22, these remarks were reported in the French newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest which led to a significant political outcry against Bourdouleix. Bourdouleix went on to defend himself saying, "You all call me Hitler, and you think that's okay, no?" He then went on to clarify, "[I said that] if I were Hitler, these people here would be killed. There, that's basically what I said."
A recording of Bourdouleix's comments were published by Le Courrier de l'Ouest in order to verify their claims, and a forensic analysis of the recording certified it as authentic. This, along with the initial accusations, led to an investigation of Bourdouleix by the Criminal Court of Angers which charged him with condoning crimes against humanity and defamation of the newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest. On January 23, 2014, Bourdouleix was found guilty of the charge and was fined 3,000 euros, though his fine was suspended. On August 12, 2014, Bourdouleix's conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal. On December 15, 2015, the Court of Appeal cancelled the sentence.
- Office of the Secretary General (2012). "Gilles Bourdouleix". Assemblee-nationale.fr (in French). National Assembly of France. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Cholet Retour des gens du voyage : Bourdouleix évoque Hitler". Le Courrier de l'ouest. July 22, 2013.
- Larrouturou, Paul (July 22, 2013). "Le député-maire UDI Gilles Bourdouleix sur les gens du voyage : "Comme quoi, Hitler n'en a peut-être pas tué assez..."". Le Lab Politique.
- "Gens du voyage. Quand le maire de Cholet fait référence à Hitler". Ouest France. July 22, 2013.
- "Affaire Bourdouleix. L’enregistrement du journaliste authentifié". Ouest France. September 27, 2013.
- Le Cain, Blandine (August 12, 2014). "Propos anti-Roms : l'élu Gilles Bourdouleix condamné en appel". Le Figaro.fr.
- ""Hitler n’en a peut-être pas tué assez" : le maire de Cholet n’est pas condamné". France Info. December 15, 2015.