| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

French greens, far-left leader Melenchon strike deal ahead of legislative election

Politicians from both sides said that LFI, the far-left movement led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, had reached an agreement with France’s green EELV party, as the left looks to establish a united front against President Emmanuel Macron in future legislative elections.

“This is a historic occasion. LFI and EELV have reached an agreement “One of LFI’s campaign organisers, senator Adrien Quatennens, agreed.

“This is a popular union behind a joint platform… to govern together, because that is the goal,” Manon Aubry, an LFI member of the EU parliament, told France Info radio.

Opposition parties on the left and right of France’s political spectrum are trying to form alliances to beat Macron’s La Republique en March party in the June parliamentary vote.

French media on Monday reported that EELV had approved a text detailing the deal with LFI on Sunday, calling it the “new popular ecology and social union”.

The move comes after Melenchon, who came in third in April’s presidential elections and barely missed the runoff behind far-right populist Marine Le Pen, called on all left-leaning parties to join forces with his movement to “elect (him) prime minister”.

The LFI-EELV deal includes aims of lowering the retirement age to 60, raising the minimum wage and capping prices on essential products, said Manon Aubry, adding that agreements with other parties of the left would follow.

Manuel Bompard, a spokesman for Melenchon’s campaign, told France Inter radio on Monday that talk with other parties would continue “in the next hours.”

During May Day protests on Sunday, Melenchon was also spotted hugging Olivier Faure, the head of France’s Socialist Party, a sign of potential unity after talks between LFI and the Socialists stalled last week.

Melenchon, himself once a member of the Socialists before leaving the party in a spat over its stance on the European Union, has caused a long-lasting feud inside the left. The Socialists are more pro-EU than he is.

LFI and EELV said in a joint statement that both wanted to put an end to the “neoliberal” course of the EU and would instead aim “for a new project serving ecological and social construction.”

According to first opinion polls ahead of the parliamentary elections in June, a left-wing alliance would not reach a majority against the bloc that supports Macron.

  • Reuters