Jean-Luc Mélenchon

French radical-left party official and MP admits slapping wife

France — Link

MP Adrien Quatennens, 32, who as coordinator of the radical-left LFI party was effectively its second most senior official, has stood down from the post after admitting to having slapped his wife, while the public support he received from LFI leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon has prompted controversy within the party and outrage among feminists.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's China stance causes tensions on French Left

France — Opinion

The broad leftwing alliances NUPES became a major force in France's National Assembly following legislative elections in June. However, several leading figures in the alliance have voiced their strong disagreement with its main architect, the veteran radical left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, over the latter's stance on China and Taiwan. As François Bougon and Mathieu Dejean argue here in this opinion article, Mélenchon's rehashing of Chinese state propaganda stems from deep-seated anti-Americanism.

The former abstainers on the Left now voting Macron to keep out Le Pen


In 2017 a section of the French Left refused to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen because of their profound disagreement with his politics. Now, five years later, some of those same abstainers are planning to return to the voting booths for Sunday's crucial second round vote. The reason? To make sure there is no chance that Le Pen can win by default. Mathilde Goanec spoke to some of these voters who have changed their approach since 2017.

French leftist Mélenchon climbing in presidential polls

France — Link

Latest opinion poll surveys of voting intentions in the April French presidential elections show Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the radical-left LFI party, as having overtaken the conservative candidate and closing the gap with the two far-right candidates, raising speculation that he could yet reach the second-round playoff against Emmanuel Macron, who retains a comfortable lead over all his rivals.  

Why French presidential hopeful Mélenchon is under fire over 'leniency' towards Russia

International — Analysis

Since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine the presidential candidate for the radical left La France Insoumise party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon appears to have changed his tone in relation to the regime in Moscow. He issued a statement condemning the invasion in unequivocal terms. But current events have led to detailed scrutiny of his past and sometimes controversial stances on international relations. In particular, a desire to be “non-aligned” in global political terms has led to claims that Mélenchon – the clear front-runner on the Left in opinion polls - has shown relative lenience towards Vladimir Putin's regime. Pauline Graulle reports.

Christiane Taubira wins French Left’s unofficial primary

France — Link

However, none of her rivals intend on dropping out of April's contest to be president of France.

Veteran candidate Mélenchon battles to show he is best-placed on Left to win French presidency


At his first major political rally ahead of next year's presidential elections, radical left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon positioned himself as a bastion of the Left against the Right and far right in France.  The veteran founder of La France Insoumise also showed at the gathering in Paris that he was able to pull together a diverse range of figures from across the left of the political spectrum. Pauline Graulle reports.

Why France's 'climate generation' is wary of the Left ahead of presidential election

France — Analysis

As the 2022 presidential election edges closer there are signs that the swathe of young people who have become radicalised over the climate in France since 2018 are now starting to take a closer interest in politics and the need to vote. But as Mathieu Dejean explains in this analysis, the fragmentation on the Left ahead of next April's poll leaves many young 'climate generation' voters distinctly unimpressed.

Is the French Left already resigned to defeat at the 2022 presidential election?

France — Analysis

Various factions on the Left are already focussing on the Parliamentary elections in June 2022, in apparent acceptance that they are unlikely to perform well at the presidential election that takes place two months earlier. Opinion polls currently suggest that the battle to be the next French head of state in April 2022 will primarily be between the incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, the far-right and, just possibly, the traditional Right. The subsequent Parliamentary elections, to be held over two rounds on June 12th and June 19th, will meanwhile determine the political influence of the various parties on the Left in the National Assembly. Mathieu Dejean and Pauline Graulle report on the potential horse-trading among the Left ahead of those legislative elections and the impact this may have, too, on the race for the presidency itself.

French radical-left leader slammed for conspiracy theory outburst

France — Link

Speaking in a radio interview, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the radical-left La France insoumise (France unbowed) party warned that a 'serious incident or a murder' would occur at the height of next year's presidential election campaign, citing tragic events during previous campaigns and seemingly suggesting they are part of a recurrent plot to change the outcome of the vote.

The rise of a new terrorist threat in France: the ultra-right

France — Investigation

A report by prosecutors in Paris warns about the return of a terrorist threat from the ultra-right, Mediapart can reveal. Based on an analysis of seven separate investigations into allegations of terrorist conspiracies, the report details the groups' professionalism, their ability to arm themselves and the varied profiles of the activists, some of whom are highly-integrated members of society. Matthieu Suc and Marine Turchi report.  

How the notion of France's long-cherished 'Republic' has been hijacked

Culture et idées — Analysis

The word 'Republican' has a hugely positive place in the French collective memory. But recently the concept has come to be used – and abused - as a form of political shorthand to tell people to obey the rules. Mediapart's Fabien Escalona talks to French academics about the shifting meaning of the concept and how it is now cited more to protect existing privileges rather than to extend safeguards and rights to new groups.

French radical left leader Mélenchon to run for president in 2022

France — Link

Melenchon, of the radical left La France Insoumise party, says he will run for the presidency for the third time he he won enough public support.

French Left and Greens jockey for position ahead of 2022 presidential election

France — Analysis

The dust has barely settled from France's delayed municipal elections, held in late June, but already elements of the French Left are on manoeuvre ahead of the presidential election in 2022. At the moment there are two main groups on the Left, the radical left La France Insoumise, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and an alignment based around the Greens, who did well in the local elections, and the once-mighty Socialist Party. But as Pauline Graulle reports, the political landscape is still very fluid.

How virus crisis is changing the face - and politics - of French society

France — Opinion

The ongoing Coronavirus health crisis facing France is leading to unprecedented political change. Large sections of society are on the march: taking charge of their own professions themselves and setting up numerous support structures and initiatives. And as François Bonnet argues in this op-ed article, this sudden land grab of some very political arenas by new groups has left society's traditional  institutions and political forces flat-footed.