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Candidate or not candidate? Jean-Luc Mélenchon gave an element of response on France 2, and obviously, he does not plan to be himself a candidate for the legislative elections of June 12 and 19, he indicated. The former LFI presidential candidate has been, for several days, the craftsman of an electoral agreement between LFI, the PS, EELV and the PCF. “Probably”, replied the outgoing deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, invited to confirm at 8 p.m. on France 2 that he would not be a candidate. The boss of the Insoumis also invoked the sufficient legitimacy that would give him, if he were to become Prime Minister, the seven million votes garnered in the first round of the presidential election.

Despite deep differences, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has accomplished the feat of bringing together the main left-wing parties under the banner of the New People’s Ecological and Social Union for a common adventure that poses an existential challenge to the PS. Long fantasized and often described as impossible, the union of the left became a reality on the night of Thursday to Friday when the National Council of the PS adopted, after sometimes heated debates, at 62% the agreement with France rebellious.

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“Able to converge”

The rebellious leader is organizing a family photo on Saturday on the occasion of an investiture convention of the “New popular ecological and social union” (Nupes) in Aubervilliers, near Paris. The event marks a profound break for the PS, particularly in relation to the Hollande five-year term, the consequences of which in the short and medium term remain uncertain. The head of socialist negotiators Pierre Jouvet welcomed this “historic gathering” on Friday that “the French desperate for this disunity” were waiting for. “We have proven that we are capable of converging on a common project to change people’s lives”, rejoiced the representative of the new wave of the PS where a generational divide has clearly appeared in recent days.

With, on the one hand, a young guard impatient to forge agreements on the ashes of the fiasco of the socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo in the presidential election (1.74%). And, on the other, the “elephants” like François Hollande, Bernard Cazeneuve, Jean-Marc Ayrault or Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, headwind against this union with Mr. Mélenchon who has never spared them. At LFI, we applaud, like LFI MEP Manon Aubry. “I remember the first time we saw the Socialist Party, a big week ago, I had the feeling of having in front of me a new Socialist Party, ready to go back on the El Khomri laws [sur le droit du travail]ready to defend retirement at 60, the Sixth Republic, and even not to respect certain European rules,” she said.

The PS in dispersed order

This turn to the left leads the political scientist (and former LR candidate for the 2015 regional elections) Dominique Reynié to say that the Socialist Party, “it’s over”, at least as a “formation of government, which comes to power, which governs , who conducts public affairs reasonably, who can carry out reforms”. “The Socialist Party now finds itself in the distant wake of a force which is a force of protest, La France insoumise”, he estimated on BFMTV, recalling the enormous differences at the start between PS and LFI, in particular in their ” relation to Europe, to universalism, to the Republic”. Political opponents revel in it, like MoDem deputy Jean-Noël Barrot who evokes “a triple denial, of the PS on the question of secularism, of the PCF on nuclear power and of the Greens on Europe”.

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Several figures of the PS have also spoken out against this “big gap” on several key programmatic points, filled at the cost of many semantic contortions. Some have already called for “insubordination to the Insoumis”, such as Senator Rachid Temal. The powerful president of the Occitanie region Carole Delga, opposed to the agreement, is worried about the few constituencies reserved for the PS (70 out of 577) and warned that she would support dissident candidates. She announced in two interviews, in Le Parisien and in the regional daily, her intention to organize in a few months “States General of the Republican, European and Ecological Left, open to activists, sympathizers, civil society, all those who, on the left, want a social project that is neither that of Emmanuel Macron nor that of Jean-Luc Mélenchon”.

Former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has already returned his PS card. Other members could follow and leave a party “transformed into a doormat”, as regretted on Wednesday with AFP the president of the department of Hérault and former deputy Kléber Mesquida, 76, including 47 years in the PS. On the side of the majority of Emmanuel Macron, we are already hastening to reach out to them. “I say: ‘Join us’ to the Social Democrats. Our doors are wide open,” LREM boss Stanislas Guerini insisted on Friday. Minister Olivier Véran, ex-PS, sent him a letter to his “former comrades who are wondering” saying to them: “It is not you who are leaving the socialist party, it is he who has just left you. “.

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