The Socialist Party (PS) in France has voted for a “moratorium” on its participation in the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes), the French left-wing parliamentary alliance.
French Socialists are angry at alliance leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise) and his inner circle, who refuse to label Hamas “terrorists”, despite the large-scale attack on Israeli citizens on October 7.
The co-operation in the European Parliament between the French Leftists will also end.
The national council of the PS met for six hours, where 51.15 per cent of its members decided on a “moratorium on its participation” in Nupes.
For many, the moratorium is widely seen as the Socialists simply walking away from Nupes with Mélenchon accusing them of “breaking” their alliance.
PS leader Olivier Faure said: “There is a problem with the Mélenchon method because it effectively leads the Left into a form of stagnation.”
He also criticised “the strategy of making everything a conflict” and “of permanently antagonising”.
The secretary-general of the PS, Pierre Jouvet, told AFP: “If for some you are the authors of the permanent mess on the Left, it is not justifiable to blame others.” He said, for him it was “de facto the end of a stage. We want more unity and better unity.”
In a reply on X, Melenchon accused Faure of breaking up Nupes and added: “I can only repeat here the slogans that I adopted with which Faure and the PS disagree: ceasefire, release of hostages, humanitarian corridor, end of the blockade of Gaza, condemnation of all war crimes and trial of criminals by the ICC, UN political solution with two viable states with secure borders, non-aligned France.”
O. Faure rompt la NUPES pour fait personnel à mon sujet à propos d’Israël/Palestine. J’ai dit ma vision dans deux conférences et trois tweets. Chacun jugera. Je ne peux que répéter ici les mots d’ordre que j’ai adoptés avec lesquels Faure et le PS sont en désaccord : cessez le…
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) October 17, 2023
Another main La France Insoumise player, Manuel Bompard, appeared to be on the same page, saying: “At a time when our country is facing very serious problems, Olivier Faure is breaking with the Nupes under the false pretext of the smear campaigns of Macron and the far Right.”
Even before the terrorist attack against Israel, Faure wanted more freedom for his party and Mélenchon was already seen as an obstacle to success. The PS chief had already ruled out a united left-wing list ahead of next year’s European Parliament elections.
Boris Vallaud, leader of the Socialist faction in the French Parliament, pointed to the apparent inability of Mélenchon and his close allies to qualify Hamas as a terror group.
In addition, Vallaud accused the Nupes leadership of failing to present an alternative for the Left in the context of an ever-growing far-Right.
“We are at this impasse. The the June 2022 parliamentary elections, this alliance of the Left and ecology gave rise to great hopes and today our divisions are causing despair.”
The Greens also had criticism for the hard-Left La France Insoumise. On October 17, French Parliamentarian Danièle Obono called Hamas a “resistance movement”. She said: “It’s an Islamist political group with an armed wing that is resisting Israel.”
Bon maintenant ça suffit.
Ce qu’il s’est passé le samedi 7 octobre en Israël n’avait rien à voir avec de la « résistance ».
Cela n’a pas aidé les Gazaouis, bien au contraire – chaque image reçue ces derniers jours le montre.
Et ce genre de propos scandaleux non plus. https://t.co/YrhX9U24Tm
— Marine Tondelier (@marinetondelier) October 17, 2023
Marine Tondelier, leader of The Greens party, responded on X, saying: “All right, that’s enough. What happened on Saturday October 7 in Israel had nothing to do with ‘resistance’.
“It didn’t help the people of Gaza, quite the contrary – every image we’ve received in the last few days shows that. Nor has this kind of outrageous language.”
Former ecologist presidential candidate Yannick Jadot MEP said: “We must suspend our relationship with the leadership of La France Insoumise until there is strong clarity on the basis of values.”
The political ructions have been simmering for a while. In August, a discussion on co-operation on the Left between La France Insoumise and The Greens quickly turned toxic.