Less than a year before the European elections, parties in the New Ecological and Social People’s Union (Nupes), a hard-Left electoral political alliance, are turning on each other.
Nupes was formed under the leadership of Jean-Luc Mélenchon to help him in the presidential elections and is made up of several parties including his La France Insoumise, the Socialist Party and the Communist Party, together with some other leftist politicians. They also work together in the legislative branch of power.
But now, rather than fighting people on their right, they are turning their knives inward.
Leaders of the La France Insoumise party, Mélenchon and Manuel Bompard, said the leader of the Communist Party Fabien Roussel “has chosen to leave Nupes”.
They pointed to what they said was the “great discomfort on the Left” regarding “certain statements” by the Communist leader.
On September 29, a letter was sent to all parties in the Nupes alliance except the Communist Party. In that, the idea of an electoral alliance is lauded but, at the same time, it also states: “We regret Fabien Roussel’s decision to leave Nupes by announcing separate lists in all elections up to 2027 and his lone candidacy in 2027.”
This came about after Roussel, the Secretary-General of the Communist Party, had said, “The Left would not win [elections] with Jean-Luc Mélenchon,” during a televised interview on France 2. “Nupes is not a political formation,” Roussel said about the leftist alliance.
Those words did not go down well, with Bompard replying on Europe 1: “I am not certain that the person who received 2.4 per cent in the last presidential elections is better positioned to know who would win than the one who got 22 per cent and missed qualifying for the second round by just 1 per cent.”
Bompard said the presence of a Communist candidate likely prevented Mélenchon from advancing to the second round of the 2022 presidential elections.
The hostile remarks by his comrades seemed to come as something of a surprise to Roussel, who said he did not leave Nupes.
“If we have to build the partnership, it must be done while respecting our differences,” Roussel said on October 1 in an interview with Journal.info.
“I aim, for example, that in the European elections, we can accept that we have different lists and that it is not perceived as a breach of contract.
“I invite Jean-Luc Mélenchon to take some perspective. I extend my hand to him. You don’t shoot someone who reaches out,” he added.
Roussel has always defended the idea of more independence for his party and has talked about a Communist candidate for the next European presidential elections. He also said he did not support the idea of so-called “degrowth” and has differing ideological stances.
“We must be able to afford to have a Left that is certainly different from the Left that La France Insoumise defends; I believe there is room for a republican, secular, universalist Left,” he said.
Pierre Jouvet, the Secretary-General of the PS (Socialist Party), responded, saying: “Both are painful. All of this is ridiculous and at a schoolyard level.
“Either we want to be the political alternative to Macron and avoid Le Pen in 2027, and we work seriously, talk to each other, stop commenting on each other, stop insulting each other. .. Or we want to be the dumbest Left in the world, and that’s how we’ll continue.”
There were similar sentiments from the Green party: “LFI always uses the same methods. I don’t understand why they put so much energy into tactical stuff when there are so many other issues to carry. I think they want to appropriate the Nupes brand,” a party board member was quoted by Le Parisien as saying.