after the dissolution, the dilemma of the left – L’Express

after the dissolution the dilemma of the left – LExpress

Of all the scenarios considered, it is the least predictable which has imposed itself on the left, the least worked on by the sachems, whether their names are Raphaël Glucksmann, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Tondelier or Fabien Roussel. Everyone, surprised if not overcome by astonishment: the dissolution, announced by a cornered Emmanuel Macron in the face of a National Rally, the big winner of the European elections, puts the knife to their throats. These surprise legislative elections which will be held on June 30 and July 7 promise new headaches. Union, they all say, appears necessary more than ever but everyone has their own recipe, which they believe is better than the other. What was possible yesterday – the Nupes, now dead – is it still possible today? Yes say the Rebels, attached to the common program of 2022 and its 600 measures. No, say the socialists, who consider that the European election is reshuffling the cards of agreements and the program of yesteryear. Moreover, the upcoming legislative campaign cannot, says a senior member of the socialist leadership, take up “the Nupes brand” any more than the slogan “Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Prime Minister”.

Sunday evening and into the night, the loops of conversations between the leaders of the left were upside down. Dozens of questions. What legislation? Will it be necessary to reappoint the 151 outgoing left-wing deputies or new candidates? Do we need new candidates, with more socialists and therefore fewer rebels in the constituencies lost at the time? And why give more space to environmentalists, weakened as they have rarely been in the European election? And questions too, more down to earth but no less legitimate on the left as ethics and morality are brandished like a standard: what about Adrien Quatennens? Can the left reappoint a deputy convicted of domestic violence and who is still serving his suspended sentence? What do we do with Bernard Cazeneuve and his friends?

READ ALSO: Emmanuel Macron, dissolution to twist the arm

Well before the election, a major local socialist elected official had warned Pierre Jouvet, spokesperson for the PS and one of the architects of Nupes: “In the event of dissolution, Bernard Cazeneuve can be a recourse.” Shrug. Now that Jordan Bardella has a foot in Matignon, who has the luxury of being exclusive? To replay the eternal Socialist Congress? This time, it is no longer “François Hollande’s fault”, as we too often like to say at LFI, among environmentalists and even at the PS.

“The Jean-Luc Mélenchon gang is no”

Throughout the evening, then during the night from Sunday to Monday, La Bellevilloise, the cultural center where the PS-Place publique candidate held his evening, was the scene of an incessant ballet of socialists. The leaders of the PS, architects of Nupes or opponents of the 2022 agreement, close to Olivier Faure as well as his detractors, took turns taking the spiral staircase which climbs to the roof terrace. Up there, endless meetings in which Glucksmann took part. This is because it is no longer just a question of the European election, but now of the National Assembly, of Matignon and therefore of the three years of politics that remain in this five-year term. “When the far right is at 40%, our responsibility is immense,” summarizes the mayor of Nantes and number two of the PS, Johanna Rolland.

READ ALSO: Europeans: behind the union of the left, the fear of ecologists to “collect the crumbs”

The PS-Place publique candidate, proud of his 14% in the polls, wants to have his say on the conditions of the union of the left, and does not hide it. In front of the cameras, he thundered: “I have a responsibility, that of bringing together all the people who recognize themselves in the line that I defended during this campaign but also recognize themselves in a method, a code of conduct, an ethics . And I don’t have the impression that Jean-Luc Mélenchon was on this line.” Facing the PS and Faure, behind the scenes, Glucksmann added: “The Jean-Luc Mélenchon gang is no.” And those close to Olivier Faure retort: ​​”The legislative elections are different, it’s not proportional. It’s about doing 50% plus one.”

No one is required to do the impossible, but the left a little all the same. Olivier Faure, the ecologist Marine Tondelier, the communist Fabien Roussel have already arranged to meet this Monday, and other guests will sit at the negotiating table. Time is counted. They do not want to start with the Nupes program, but at the same time admit that it is impossible to redesign a common project in such a short time. Jean-Luc Mélenchon did not wait for the chatter to put pressure on the rest of the left. If there must be union, it is with him, once again, with the program of the Nupes of 2022. In a press release published overnight, the Insoumis call for a gathering with firm conditions, which must “close the page denials of the measures of the shared government program of the Nupes and the ambiguity of certain components on the major subjects of the European election campaign. They ask the PS, ecologists and communists to “reaffirm” a whole list of measures from the 2022 program, and in particular “the return to retirement at 60, the freezing of prices on energy and basic necessities ” and “rejecting the escalation of the war in Ukraine and ending the ongoing genocide in Gaza by recognizing the State of Palestine, declaring an embargo on arms deliveries and imposing sanctions on Netanyahu’s government .”

“Mélenchon does not want union, he wants the front, the national front”

When its back is against the wall, the left likes to rely on its glorious past. François Ruffin, from Amiens, calls for a new Popular Front. “We call on Olivier Faure, Fabien Roussel, Marine Tondelier, Manuel Bompard to carry it, together. Rebels, communists, socialists, ecologists. United. To avoid the worst, to win”, he urges, overtaking Mélenchon and the management of LFI. Where they set conditions, Ruffin creates bridges, faced with the gravity of the moment, by posing the key word – far from being magical – of “Popular Front” which Roussel and Faure took up with the same voice. By proposing this Monday morning to the rest of the left to meet to prepare the rally, Manuel Bompard and Mathilde Panot appeared taken by surprise and belatedly clung to the unit wagon pulled by the Ruffin locomotive.

READ ALSO: Bardella victory: behind the scenes, the campaign of a new generation

However, the socialists are also awaiting clarifications from the Insoumis after a European campaign of rare violence, expressions of some described as anti-Semitic, hordes of anonymous people, proclaimed supporters of LFI, attacking the the only Jewish candidates on the European list, Glucksmann and Rafowicz, and to the deputy Jérôme Guedj. Mélenchon recently described the latter as “cowardly” and “an informer”, belching against his former protégé who would agitate “around the picket where the leash of his membership holds him”. Red lines have been crossed, and this Monday morning, at the microphone of France Inter, Olivier Faure set the tone: “I will not align myself with what Jean-Luc Mélenchon says.” And François Ruffin, a few minutes later on the same radio, deplores: “We still have no response from Manuel Bompard.”


What is Mélenchon looking for? “He doesn’t want the union, he wants the front, the national front, believes a former road partner, convinced that the rebellious leader is ready for the worst, namely to derail the union and send Bardella to Matignon “The situation is pre-revolutionary”, Mélenchon likes to believe, he who understood in the 2022 legislative elections that the union of the left is still not capable of winning at the ballot box. The cumulative score of the left hardly reaches 30. % in the European elections, and that of Raphaël Glucksmann is done in all places of the sociological Macronie. Whoever would not vote for Mélenchon So the latter only has to fuel the embers of the irreconcilable lefts, and especially on the questions. In his speech on Sunday evening, he was angry with Emmanuel Macron’s wish “to deepen the military presence in Ukraine in a logic of aggression against Russia which was received as such by the latter”.

READ ALSO: Europeans: Marion Maréchal, the ecologists, Bellamy… This error of analysis which was fatal to them

From then on, the pressure is on the rebellious shoulders. Should we save Mélenchon at all costs or push him into retirement? What will the rebels Clémentine Autain, Alexis Corbière, François Ruffin, Raquel Garrido, Danielle Simonnet, and the fifteen or so other deputies who question the leader’s choices from time to time do? They who had a three-year plan, to prepare the alternative to Mélenchon in 2027, are up against the wall, driven by urgency. Will they break with him, once and for all, in the face of the danger from the extreme right? And what will the Red Guards, those closest to the rebellious leader, do? How far does their loyalty extend to him?

This is the evidence: if the union of the left seems essential, it has become impossible with Mélenchon. He knows it, look at the polls that he pretends to loathe and the results of the election in detail, so why keep alive a hope that does not exist in the electoral reality? Fever in the country, migraine and night of the long knives on the left.