the Mélenchon turtle runs towards… the 2027 presidential election – L’Express

the Melenchon turtle runs towards the 2027 presidential election –

European elections? Which European elections? It is a little after 4 p.m. in hall 5 of the Villepinte exhibition center, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon walks towards the desk installed at the front of the stage. Red tie, black jacket, newfound energy. He thunders, fist in the air, quotes Robespierre – which he rarely does outside of the presidential campaign – and Jean Jaurès, obviously since war is ringing out in Ukraine, at the gates of Europe. A candidate’s speech, make no mistake. Candidate for the European elections certainly (he appears at the very end of the list) certainly – a coquettishness on his part. Candidate for the 2027 presidential election, above all. This is how he presented himself, this March 16, in front of some 3,000 people gathered under a new banner: “the Popular Union”. Exit rebellious France. “Do better,” he said the evening of the first round of the last presidential election, defeated. You are never better served than by yourself.

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It seems that retirement has done him good. Here he is back in better shape than we left him in 2022, exhausted by a presidential campaign, tired by the endless negotiations which led to the creation of Nupes. He was also left weakened, from the start of the school year in September 2022, by his management of the Quatennens affair, his “heir” accused and convicted of domestic violence. He had defended him against all, realizing too late that even his rebels had turned their backs on him. A revolt that grew over the months, made up of old traveling partners who shamelessly spoke of a future without him. And Nupes, his creation? Exploded in mid-air, on the altar of October 7 and the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

The return of the sagacious turtle

Two days earlier, on March 14, at the University of Nanterre, in front of thousands of students, Jean-Luc Mélenchon set the pace: “June 9, it is not a European election, it is the 1st round of the 2027 presidential election.” So, who other than him since no one among the rebels, nor among the socialists or the ecologists, has come forward to take up the torch left on the ground in 2022? In Villepinte, this March 16, the chief rebel resumed his metaphor of the sagacious turtle from the last presidential campaign, an animal that has become the totem of his activists and sympathizers. “As you prepare for your 2024, you will have your 2027. We have to start well, so it starts today,” he said, mocking the polls which gave him “5 points below his score, 48 hours before » . He adds: “If we start from afar, in the end the sagacious turtle goes further. »

READ ALSO: Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “I saw the Matignon garden from afar, it is better than that of the Elysée”

Mélenchon sees himself as a stoic. At the podium, he talks about the search in 2018, returns to the defections in 2019 which shook him but never defeated him. Message to the new rebels, Alexis Corbière, Raquel Garrido, Clémentine Autain and François Ruffin. “How many more of these bad things will we have to experience?” » He will not bend, comparing himself to Seneca’s tree: “Only he who has suffered the assaults of the wind comes out rigorous. »And the accusations of anti-Semitism which have followed in recent months, since October 7, he brushes aside. He knows voters won’t hold it against him in 2027. That’s that far away. Confidence of a Mélenchon, before winter, in a café on the port of Marseille: “The bourgeois voters are forgetful. “At the end of the day, all will be forgiven, believes the one who, from the platform, pays tribute to the thirty Jewish students of science Po who dissociated themselves from the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) after the occupation by pro-Palestinian activists of an amphitheater. A matter that has become a state issue since a student of Jewish faith claims to have been barred from entering and the victim of anti-Semitism.

READ ALSO: LFI, Hamas and Israel: the real story behind the “shame” statement

Abstention, trap…

Stoic but not so serene, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The latest Cevipof survey wave in The world gave him a few cold sweats. His political capital for 2022 is going up in smoke, and his voters are among the abstainers within the three blocs for the European election. So, in Villepinte, he lectured them. “If you give up the fight, do not be surprised if it is lost […]. If you abstain, you vote for Macron and Le Pen. You are voting against yourselves! » he chanted, to applause, before giving the floor to Manon Aubry, the candidate we had almost forgotten. He makes no secret of it, Gaza is one of the subjects with which he intends to remobilize the abstentionist electorate in the neighborhoods, particularly in the suburbs where the Palestinian question is cardinal. This will notably be the role of the Franco-Palestinian activist Rima Hassan, candidate for the European elections and criticized for her comments on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. “There was a time when this electorate could have gone to Glucksmann, because he was known for taking up the subject of the Uighurs and he was appreciated for that. But today, he is the one who betrayed on Gaza”, analyzes a rebellious oil.

Abstention, “it’s the key for the second round” the LFI leader has kept repeating since 2017, the date of his first failure by a few thousand votes. The next one, the last for him without a doubt, will be fought out once again. It is 5:30 p.m. in Villepinte, the eve of the European elections, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s fourth presidential campaign has started.