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Diasporian News of Thursday, 12 February 2015

Source: france24.com

Stéphane Tiki outed as illegal immigrant

The leader of the French conservative UMP party’s youth wing has stepped down after a newspaper revealed that his residency permit had expired and that he was therefore an undocumented immigrant in the country.

Stéphane Tiki, a Cameroonian national who in December took over the presidency of the Jeunes Populaires, the Union for a Popular Movement’s (UMP) under-30 group, said Tuesday that he was taking leave of his post.

The announcement came on the heels of reports that daily Le Canard Enchaîné would expose Tiki’s unlawful residency status in its edition on Wednesday.

Tiki blasted the information as “inaccurate and false”, telling the AFP news agency that he had filed an application for French citizenship. He did not deny his status as an undocumented immigrant.

Le Canard Enchaîné newspaper said Tiki had been living in France for the past 10 years and recently had expressed interest in running for public office to party bosses.

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party, which is struggling with internal divisions ahead of presidential primaries next year, did not immediately react to Tiki’s decision to step down.

Franck Allisio, a fellow UMP youth leader, said on Wednesday that Tiki had committed a mistake by not renewing his residency permit, but because of his “love for France” deserved French nationality more than other citizens who “rejected their own country”.

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