The French left celebrates its electoral alliance against Macron | International

Since there were only those who really wanted to and not all those who could have been, the presentation this Saturday of the new alliance of the French left-wing parties for the June legislative elections was a real celebration. In Aubervilliers, on the outskirts of Paris, they were convinced. The New Popular Ecologist and Social Union (NUPES) was inaugurated under the leadership of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the architect of the agreement between the populist left of France Insumisa, the Communist Party, the environmentalists and, after arduous negotiations that have put him on the verge of the split, the Socialist Party (PS).

The alliance of the entire spectrum of the French left is “an act of collective resistance to an era of social, ecological and democratic mistreatment,” said Mélenchon, who celebrated the “historical depth” of the pact. “It is the first time in 25 years, that is, in a generation, that a global agreement has been reached between the forces of the left,” he recalled. “We are writing a page in the history of France.”

At the presentation ceremony of NUPES, the logo of the new alliance was unveiled: a V “for victory”, explained the organizers while encouraging the audience to take a selfie making that gesture with their hands, as they had done on the eve of the event. in Aubervilliers candidates and organizers of the alliance. It is a V with the colors of all the participating formations, which made a show of unity on Saturday after 13 days —”and 13 nights”, Mélenchon recalled with a laugh— of negotiations after years of disagreements.

The first secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, lamented the questioning of this legislative commitment. “Of course we have differences, no one denies it,” he said before 1,500 people, including candidates for deputy and militants from all the now allied formations. The problem, Faure stressed, is that only the left is asked about these differences, but “who is asking Emmanuel Macron about them?” Macronism, he recalled, is made up of “people who have faced each other all their lives (…) people from the left and from the right. We are left and left and they ask us to apologize.

With his “OPA to the left”, as the French press has described the union operation of the main forces of the country’s left, Mélenchon is seeking a majority in the National Assembly in the elections on June 12 and 19. This would allow him to be appointed prime minister, as stated in the electoral posters launched even before the alliance of parties was ratified, and thus force a government of cohabitation that would stop the policy of President Emmanuel Macron, who was sworn in for his second term this very Saturday.

On Friday, the leader of Francia Insumisa reiterated that, “probably”, he will not be a candidate for the National Assembly, which does not prevent him, he stressed, from being able to be head of government if his alliance achieves a majority of deputies. To achieve this, NUPES must first win at least 289 of the 577 seats in dispute.

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Faure, who promoted the alliance finally supported by 62% of his party on Thursday, called for “not being afraid of the rebels, environmentalists, communists and radicalized socialists,” ironic about the internal criticism of his party to the agreement. “Don’t be afraid, treat yourself for once, don’t vote against something but for what you believe,” he encouraged voters.

“In five weeks,” said former communist candidate Fabien Roussel, “we have the chance to defeat Macron in the National Assembly by electing a new leftist majority. It’s an immense hope that we haven’t had for years.”

With almost 22% of the votes he received in the first round of the presidential elections, Mélenchon was at the gates of the final to reach the Elysée and became the most voted force on the left, well ahead of his progressive rivals: the environmental candidate, Yannick Jadot, obtained 4.6% of the votes, the communist Roussel, 2.3% and the socialist Anne Hidalgo, whose party governed France between 2012 and 2017, was left with a very poor 1.7%. This overwhelming advantage has given Mélenchon the authority to lead the left-wing alliance by imposing most of its conditions and a “breakout” program, he says, that, until he forced negotiations, many of his rivals, notably the Socialists. , they considered incompatible with their principles.

Above all, the call to “disobey” some of the main treaties of the European Union has caused the rejection of the alliance by a minority, but very influential, part of the PS, which is studying its next move away from the NUPES that this Saturday it celebrated without them. .

One of the main critical voices of the alliance, the president of the Occitania region, Carole Delga, has already outlined part of that future. In an interview in Le Parisian, assured that he does not intend to leave the PS. But, after the summer, it will organize a “States General of the republican, European and environmentalist left” that will be “open to all those who, on the left, want a project of society that is neither Macron’s nor Mélenchon’s” .

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