Sébastien Peytavie, first deputy in a wheelchair, enters the Assembly


Sébastien Peytavie, the first deputy in a wheelchair of the Fifth Republic, made a remarkable entrance into the National Assembly. After six months of hospitalization which kept him away from the debates since his election in June, the elected EELV of the 4th district of Dordogne participated, Tuesday January 24, in his first session of questions to the government.

“I had not been able to attend the return to parliament, so there was something completely newfor mesays the deputy. I felt apprehensive, especially at being out of step with the colleagues who had been there for six months. But I was very well received by my group” rejoices the environmentalist.

A place arranged in the hemicycle

His return to the Palais-Bourbon required some adjustments in the hemicycle. A space dedicated to people in wheelchairs with an access ramp has been created in the first row, next to the benches reserved for the government. “It was very well done. salute Sébastien Peytavie. I had proposed to set up a table near the ministers, but the staff of the Assembly integrated a real place. »

It is from this space that the elected official, seated next to the Minister of Transport Clément Beaune, asked a question about the “taking into account the hardship for care and support professions”. Directly questioning the need for the current pension reform, the MP considered that “the real emergency, (…) is the bankruptcy of the health system”, which he says he noticed during his long months of convalescence, after a fall and then an infection which forced him to be bedridden. Before answering him on the merits, the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt said to himself, on behalf of the government, ” happy “ that his state of health allows him to ” to participate “ back to parliamentary business.

The first question of the session having been “particularly stormy”the newcomer, scheduled for fourth position, did not “didn’t have much time to gamberger” before speaking. ” It was an introduction that sets the tone,” he says.

Even if he does not want to be reduced to his handicap, nor to become a spokesperson, Sébastien Peytavie knows that his presence “is an important symbol”. “Inevitably, there is an expectation of people with disabilities. I received many expressions of sympathy. Mostly,it can create an imagination for many young people to see an elected official in a chair in the Assembly”.

A progressive political commitment

A psychologist by profession, the forty-something drew his vocation from this profession “eminently political”. Especially since he works at the public hospital in Sarlat, where he rubs shoulders with a fragile public. Concerned about the ecological issue, he was “very seduced in 2017 by Benoît Hamon’s campaign and his proposal for universal income, which defined another model of society”. This is the beginning of his commitment, which will lead him to be invested as a candidate in the 2022 legislative elections by the new left alliance (Nupes), very shortly before the ballot. Sébastien Peytavie is delighted to have been able to lead “a beautiful local countryside, in a very rural environment, in a very spread out constituency”. He won with 55.48% of the vote against Jacqueline Dubois, the outgoing majority MP.

Now installed in the Assembly, he wants to focus on the issue of the health system and medical deserts. “It’s a subject that concerns me a lot because behind it, it’s the republican pact that is called into question”, he insists. Subject that he helped to put back into the debate with his first question to the government.


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