Macro’s New Left-Wing Unity Pact in France Faces Cracks Days After Formation


France’s new leftwing unity pact is already showing signs of strain just two days after its formation, which had threatened to overshadow Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance in the upcoming snap elections.

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Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon initiated an overnight purge of moderates in his party who had advocated for unity, causing a backlash from other leftwing leaders. Socialist chief Olivier Faure called the move “scandalous.”

The New Popular Front (NPF) was created to challenge pro-Macron candidates, making it harder for them to advance to the second round run-off on July 7, with the first round on June 30.

The prospect of a far-right government with the left as the main opposition has unsettled financial markets, leading to a sell-off of French debt and equities this week.

Approximately 75,000 people protested in Paris on Saturday against the far-right, according to police. The CGT union claimed 250,000 participated in Paris and 640,000 nationwide.

The NPF, formed after intense negotiations among four leftwing parties, is divided on the economy, EU policy, and Ukraine but united to challenge Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National.

Mélenchon’s purge, which included removing colleagues who had criticized his extreme positions and adding controversial MP Adrien Quatennens, has strained the NPF. Quatennens has been accused of domestic violence by his wife.

The move angered the purged members and their supporters. Alexis Corbières, one of the MPs removed as a candidate, criticized Mélenchon on France Info. Raquel Garrido expressed her discontent on X.

Mélenchon’s critics argue that his support for Quatennens betrays the left’s feminist principles.

Martine Aubry, the socialist mayor of Lille, said she would back another candidate against Quatennens, undermining the unity pact.

Political parties are finalizing their candidate lists before the Sunday deadline.

Former French president François Hollande announced he would run for parliament for the NPF in Corrèze, surprising his colleagues. Socialist leader Faure said he was “not in the loop.”

If elected, Hollande would be the second former head of state to serve in the National Assembly during the fifth republic, following Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

Macron’s centrist alliance is seeking local deals with center-right candidates to avoid competing against each other and opposing the RN.

The centre-right Les Républicains party is also in turmoil after its leader Eric Ciotti unilaterally agreed to an alliance with the far-right. Colleagues voted to expel Ciotti, but a Paris court overturned the decision, leaving the party’s leadership uncertain.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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