Keyword: Jean-Luc Mélenchon

French presidential race: the insoluble divide of the Left

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Benoît Hamon: seeking a path to party unity. Benoît Hamon: seeking a path to party unity.

With just ten weeks to go before voting begins in the first round of France’s presidential elections, newly-elected Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon has revealed a campaign team made up of fellow leftwingers but also of allies of President François Hollande and former prime minister Manuel Valls.  While Hamon’s olive branch to the party’s Right may dissipate its predicted desertion in favour of maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron, it suggests there can be little, if any, chance that he can reach an alliance with radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Mediapart political analyst Hubert Huertas sketches here the fundamental divide between Mélenchon and Hamon and what is at stake for the future of the Socialist Party.

France's radical-left Mélenchon uses hologram to spread election message

Mélenchon wants to be seen as key adversary of Marine Le Pen, choosing same city and almost same time as her to launch his campaign.

The thwarted generation of socialists taking a tilt at the French presidency

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Clockwise, from top left: Benoît Hamon, Arnaud Montebourg, Manuel Valls and Vincent Peillon. © Reuters Clockwise, from top left: Benoît Hamon, Arnaud Montebourg, Manuel Valls and Vincent Peillon. © Reuters

The four main contenders to be the official mainstream socialist candidate for the 2017 French presidential elections, Benoît Hamon, Arnaud Montebourg, Vincent Peillon and Manuel Valls, know each other extremely well. For more than 20 years the members of this quartet have occupied important positions and roles in the Socialist Party and were once hailed as a new generation destined to modernise the party. Now, having never been able to form lasting alliances among themselves, and having been 'blocked' by the generation above them, the four are all standing against each other in the party's primary to choose a candidate for the Elysée. Stéphane Alliès and Donatien Huet report on four politicians who have waited a long time for their chance to become president.

Fall of Aleppo reveals fault lines in French politics

The end of the battle for Syria's second city and the plight of its civilians have drawn different responses from across France's political spectrum. On the Right the line taken by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been close to that of the far-right Front National, with his defence of the Assad regime and Vladimir Putin. The ruling Socialist Party and the Greens have emphasised their support for Syria's opposition, while the radical left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has adopted an anti-imperialist stance, with the United States as his main target. Lénaïg Bredoux, Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau report.

Why Fillon's win has thrown down the gauntlet to the entire French Left

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The crushing win in Sunday's conservative primary by former prime minister François Fillon shows that the French Right is not worried about its electoral opponents, writes Mediapart's Hubert Huertas. In choosing the most hardline candidate with the most radical austerity programme since the end of World War II, right-wing voters have delivered a message of supreme confidence. As far as they are concerned, it is as if left-wing opposition no longer exists. So how, he asks, will the French Left respond?

Is ex-minister Montebourg preparing a bid for the French presidency in 2017?

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Heading for the Elysée? Arnaud Montebourg on the campaign trail back in 2011. © Reuters Heading for the Elysée? Arnaud Montebourg on the campaign trail back in 2011. © Reuters

He remains one of the most fascinating and colourful figures in French politics. Arnaud Montebourg was a high-profile figure in the government of President François Hollande, who as economy minister had a very public spat with a US business boss. In August 2014 he quit after disagreeing with the government's policies and went off to work in commerce. In the last 18 months Montebourg has kept a low public profile but has been assiduously meeting key figures and thinkers on the French Left. So is he, as many believe, discreetly preparing a bid for the French presidency in 2017? Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

Greek drama: can French Left copy Syriza's success?

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Sections of the Left in France greeted Syriza's triumph in the Greek elections on Sunday with great enthusiasm, with some hailing it as an “historic moment”. But the success of the Greek party, which unites various left-wing groups, has also highlighted the continuing divisions on the Left in France and its own failure to create a lasting electoral coalition. At the same time the challenges facing the new Syriza government, which is seeking to end austerity and renegotiate its debt burden with the EU and international bodies, underline the problems facing any left-wing administration in Europe. A key question is whether France's own socialist president, François Hollande, will now seize the opportunity to change economic direction and push the EU and Germany to back more growth-oriented policies. First, Mediapart's Stéphane Alliès, in Paris, examines how the French Left will react to the Greek results, then Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant wonders whether any truly left-wing policies can be carried out by national governments under current eurozone rules.

French politician to Merkel: 'Shut your trap'

Jean-Luc Mélenchon Tweets attack after German leader asked France for more budget tightening; German minister strikes softer tone.

Radical-left firebrand Mélenchon quits party leadership

Fiery Parti de Gauche co-president Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 63, insists the move is a strategic one and that he will remain in politics.

Thousands march in Paris against austerity, economic reforms

Demonstrators showed anger over President Holande's 'pro-business' measures with slogans such as 'When you are leftist you support employees'.

Socialist leader hits back at ‘coca leaf chewing’ leftist

Socialist Party boss Harlem Désir mocks radical left politician Jean Luc-Mélenchon, referring to his recent trips to Latin American countries.

French far-left leader mocks assets declaration

Jean-Luc Mélenchon puts his weight, height and shoe size in his declaration of assets after President Hollande's call to clean up French politics.

The high-risk stakes behind the battle for Hénin-Beaumont

The BBC reports from Hénin-Beaumont where France's Far Right and Radical Left leaders are locked into winner-takes-all parliamentary election battle.

Radical-left Mélenchon picks consituency fight with far-right Le Pen

Mélenchon lays down June election challenge to far-right leader Le Pen for a parliamentary seat in a former mining town near Lille.

French elections in images: firebrand Mélenchon calls for 'civic insurrection'

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Vidéo accessible dans l'article. © (P.A.) Vidéo accessible dans l'article. © (P.A.)

Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages with soundtracks of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and milestone events which will continue all the way to the final vote on May 6th. Here he follows a triumphant weekend for radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon  the man representing the Front de Gauche (Front of the Left), a coalition of parties sitting on the left of the Socialist Party, and which includes the Communist Party and his own Party of the Left. It ends with a mass rally at the Place de la Bastille in Paris (pictured), where Mélenchon delivered a rousing speech before a crowd in excess of 100,000 people, calling for a 'civic insurrection'.