France | The Union of the Left, the tour de force by Jean-Luc Mélenchon

(Paris) Despite deep differences, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has managed the feat of bringing together the main left parties under the banner of the New People’s Ecological and Social Union for a common adventure that raises the question of the survival of the PS.

Posted at 6:38 am

Jacques Klopp
Media Agency France

Long fantasized and often described as impossible, the union of the left became reality on Thursday night when the PS National Council rebelliously accepted the agreement with France with 62% after at times tense debates.

This historic change of direction inaugurates a great winner: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who, with his 22% in the first round of the presidential election, pushed through his takeover bid on the left, uniting under one flag the PS, but also the environmentalists EELV and the communists in view of the Parliamentary elections in June, in which he wants to become “Prime Minister”.

The family photo is planned for Saturday during an investiture convention of the “New People’s Ecological and Social Union” (Nupes) in Aubervilliers near Paris.

The event also marks a profound break for the PS, particularly in relation to Hollande’s five-year tenure, the consequences of which in the short and medium term are yet to be seen.

The head of the socialist negotiators, Pierre Jouvet, welcomed on Friday this “historic meeting” that “the French, desperate for this disagreement”, had been waiting for.

“We have proven that we are able to work together on a common project to change people’s lives,” said the representative of the new wave of PS, in which a generational gap has clearly become apparent in recent days.

On the one hand, a young guard impatient to reach agreements on the ashes of the fiasco of socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo in the presidential election (1.74%). And on the other hand, the “elephants” such as François Hollande, Bernard Cazeneuve, Jean-Marc Ayrault or Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, opposition to this union with Mr. Mélenchon, who has never spared them.

At LFI, like LFI MP Manon Aubry, we welcome that “the Socialist Party is reconnecting with its history, with the struggle for great social conquests”.

“I remember when we first saw the Socialist Party a big week ago, I felt like I saw a new Socialist Party poised to reverse the El Khomri laws [sur le droit du travail]ready to defend retirement at 60, the Sixth Republic, even not respecting certain European rules,” she added.

The PS, “It’s Over”

This shift to the left prompts political scientist (and former LR candidate for the 2015 regional elections) Dominique Reynié to state that the Socialist Party is “over,” at least as a “government that comes into power, that governs, that governs public affairs sensibly leaders who can carry out reforms”.

“The Socialist Party is now in the distant wake of a force that is a force of protest, La France insoumise,” he estimated on BFMTV, recalling the enormous differences at the outset between the PS and the LFI, particularly in their “relationship with Europe, to universalism, to the republic”.

Several personalities of the PS spoke out against this “big gap” in several key programmatic points, which was filled at the expense of many semantic distortions. Some have already called for “insubordination to the rebels,” such as Senator Rachid Temal.

Powerful Occitania regional president Carole Delga, who opposes the deal, is concerned about the few constituencies reserved for the PS (70 out of 577) and warned she would support dissenting candidates on a case-by-case basis.

In this context, however, Manon Aubry recalled that “any political formation will exclude anyone who wishes to present themselves in political colours, unless invested by our new people’s union”.

Former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has already returned his PS card. Other members could follow and leave a party “turned into a doormat”, as the President of the Hérault department and former MP Kléber Mesquidale, 76, including 47 years in the PS, lamented on AFP on Wednesday.

On the side of the majority of Emmanuel Macron, we are already hurrying to reach them. “I say ‘do it’ to the social democrats. Our doors are wide open,” emphasized LREM boss Stanislas Guerini on Friday.

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