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Jean-Luc Mélenchon: Robespierres Ghost?

category international | elections / politics | other press author Monday April 16, 2012 22:13author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Front de Gauche is now the third candidate in the French Presidential election, at 16% he is level with La Pen but his trajectory is upward. His standing is sending shivers up the spines of the French Bourgeoisie, fearful of what concessions Edwin will wring from Hollande for support in the second round of voting. Here are two articles regarding his candidacy. Full texts at links.
fr1.jpg

Momentum builds behind Frances third man

Jean-Michel Edwin calls for critical support for Melenchon in this months presidential election

Campaigning for France’s two-round presidential election is hotting up. The first ballot takes place on April 22, when all but the top two candidates will be eliminated, and the second round will be held on May 6. The monarchical president - either rightwing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy or one of his opponents - will form a provisional government, and will hope to gain a majority of deputies in the French national assembly when the legislative elections are held on June 10 and 17.

Sarkozy and the Parti Socialiste candidate, François Hollande, are running far ahead of their opponents and look set to qualify for the second round, but the Front de Gauche (FG) candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in alliance with the Parti Communiste Français, has unexpectedly gained support and now stands at 15% in the polls. He has promised his enthusiastic working class supporters that he will qualify for the second round: “We will do it!”

According to the media, Mélenchon is the “hard-left” candidate who calls for a “citizens’ revolution” (révolution citoyenne). Last week he raised the demand that Sarkozy “account for the misery and ignorance he has spread during his five years in office”. He was speaking at a rally at the Place du Capitole in Toulouse in front of 70,000 red-flag-waving supporters - only the latest in a series of mass rallies, where tens of thousands workers have come to hear him across the country. The climax of his campaign should be a monster rally in Paris three days before the election, where 100,000 are expected to gather from all over France. “This is not an ordinary campaign,” Mélenchon says, “but the first stage of a revolution: you cannot stop us! We can’t lose because it’s not only an election, but the révolution citoyenne on the march!”

Early campaigning

The classic right-left stand-off between the conservative Union pour un Mouvement Populaire, plus liberal allies, and the Parti Socialiste began to take shape when the PS organised primary elections open to every French voter in October 2011. For the first time these primaries were opened up to candidates of other leftwing parties, but only the bourgeois Parti Radical de Gauche availed itself of the opportunity to join in - the FG, PCF and far-left organisations kept their distance.

The PS primaries need to be mentioned, as they attracted more than 2.5 million voters - far more than the PS membership. Amongst the six candidates in the first round, François Hollande finished ahead of Martine Aubry and the former won the second round. But the third candidate was PS leftwinger Arnaud Montebourg, who picked up an unexpected 17%.

In a press release issued on December 9 Mélenchon congratulated Hollande, but put particular emphasis on the Montebourg result: “… I note especially the spectacular breakthrough of Arnaud Montebourg and his ideas of rupture, which he raises in terms often identical to those of the Front de Gauche”.

Related Link: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/article.php?article_id=1004795
author by pat cpublication date Mon Apr 16, 2012 22:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tens of thousands of people marched down Marseille’s Prado Avenue on Saturday to attend the election rally of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front’s presidential candidate. This was the third rally, after events in Paris and Toulouse, for a candidate who is forecast to come in third in the April 22 vote, after incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Party (PS) candidate François Hollande.

Attendance at the Marseille rally reflects widespread demands for a left-wing policy against the banks, and hopes aroused by Mélenchon’s election program—which calls for raising the minimum wage, widening access to health care and limiting social inequality.

One great contradiction underlay the rally, however: these demands are being placed on the Left Front, which is composed of forces incapable of serious opposition to the political establishment, of which they are a part—the Left Party and its leader, Mélenchon, an ex-minister in the PS-led Plural Left government (2000-02), and the Stalinist French Communist Party (PCF). The PS, the PCF and their allies have long records, when they were in government in the 1980s and 1990s, of carrying out austerity policies demanded by the ruling elite. The fact that popular hopes for social and political change rest with such discredited forces indicates the vacuum on the left in France.

Mélenchon began his speech Saturday by referring to the Mediterranean and to last year’s revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, calling for cancelling Tunisia’s debt: “We see the direction taken by the movement of the people. We must lighten the load on these people, particularly our brothers and sisters in Tunisia.” He criticized the US military presence in the Mediterranean, which he said should be a “zone of peace,” and denounced attempts to divide the population along religious lines: “Shut up already about religion, about all religions.”

He continued, “We are writing a page in the history of the left, the left that does not betray.” He pledged to defend “those who are scorned, ignored, insulted. We’ve had enough of hearing that we are moochers. The only people who are moochers in this country are the rich.” He praised the working class as “the class of the common [national] interest, the patriotic class,” and also as an “ecological” class.
Citing the creation on the German stock exchange of financial instruments to speculate against French sovereign debt, he warned: “Finance will attack after April 16 [when Eurex, a subsidiary of the German stock market, will launch a new futures contract on French government bonds], and France will not give in.” He asked his supporters to respond to union calls for protest strikes, calling on them to be “cultivated” and “a disciplined force in struggle.” He closed with, “Long live the Republic, long live France!”


Full text: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/mele-a16.shtml

The demonstration in Marseille
The demonstration in Marseille

author by Allez Alipublication date Sun Apr 22, 2012 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/22/france-electio....html

"But Le Pen's record score of 18-20 percent was the sensation of the night, beating her father's 2002 result and outpolling hard leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, in fourth place on 11 percent."

Ha ha ha!

author by leftypublication date Mon Apr 23, 2012 01:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fascists on the rise in Europe in times of austerity?. Big surprise there..
Fascists stir up resentments among the poor and the foreign nationals then make political hay out of it.

author by Joe Le Pewpublication date Tue Apr 24, 2012 03:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think her RT interview last year was very revealing. It actually sounds a bit to the left of Sarkozy.

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


 
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