the climate is warming between La France insoumise and the French Communist Party

Fabien Roussel, PCF presidential candidate, during his speech to the main associations of local elected officials, in Montrouge, March 15, 2022.

Everyone heard it at La France insoumise (LFI). Unlike Yannick Jadot or Anne Hidalgo, Fabien Roussel, the candidate of the French Communist Party (PCF), has said so publicly in recent days. On France 3 on March 13, in The Parisian this week : ” of cours “ that he would have no qualms about voting for Jean-Luc Mélenchon if the latter made it to the second round of the presidential election. Given the level of violence between left-wing candidates during this campaign, this declaration, which in other times would have gone without saying, has the appearance of launching a peace process.

Of course, the communist candidate also wants the reciprocal to be true, and he refuses to enter into the logic of useful voting from the first round that the “rebellious” are running at full capacity. Mr. Roussel will go all the way, and moreover the Communists do not think that a victory for Mr. Mélenchon is possible. But, in his interventions, the deputy from the North goes a little less strongly against his competitor. Mr. Roussel believes he has found his electorate: a historic communist base and also a certain middle class who voted before socialist, seduced by his republican discourse. At LFI, we still regret his independent candidacy likely to cause Mr. Mélenchon to fail at the gates of the second round, but, realistically, we are trying to come to an agreement with the PCF for the legislative elections.

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Behind the scenes, discussions are moving forward. And when they appear publicly, it is to better influence presidential dynamics. In a letter sent on March 14 to the PCF, similar to the one addressed to Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) and revealed by Releasethe two heads of LFI’s “elections” section, Alexandra Mortet and Paul Vannier, thus set two conditions for the resumption of discussions for the legislative elections: an end to the attacks “targeting Jean-Luc Mélenchon” and the expression of a “willingness to come together” around him “in the event of a qualification in the second round”.

“Reciprocal support”

On the constituency side, the “rebellious” propose, initially, to agree on a mutual support for [leurs] outgoing deputies, with the exception of overseas. At the PCF, Pierre Lacaze, in charge of the legislative elections, notes that the proposal is less telling than the discussion which opened in February between the two forces. At that time, the PCF had proposed an agreement, excluding the overseas territories, on the sixteen outgoing “rebellious” and sixteen constituencies for the Communists, including eleven outgoing deputies. LFI had responded by proposing to agree on twenty-one “insubordinate” constituencies and sixteen communists. Then the discussions were interrupted, LFI citing in particular difficulties linked to the expressions of Mr. Roussel’s campaign.

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