Wednesday, May 25

Tensions between the Socialists and Mélenchon’s party are holding back a left-wing coalition in France

The “substantive” disagreements about the EU and the pension reform between the Socialist Party (PS) and the France Insumisa (LFI) are holding back, for the moment, the formation of a left-wing coalition for the French legislative elections in mid-June. While a pact between Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party and the environmentalists is “in sight”, the agreement with the PS is at an impasse. The socialist and LFI negotiators have suspended the talks this Friday, in principle without a specific date, and in statements to Efe, sources from Mélenchon’s party have indicated that “nothing is planned” for Saturday.

The relationship with the EU, since Mélenchon’s party advocates “disobedience” to the rules with an antisocial charge, and the speed in the pension reform are the background of some discrepancies already expressed by barons of the Socialist Party, such as the former French president François Hollande, and the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who failed in the last presidential elections, in which she obtained less than 2% of the vote.

Other possible coalitions

La France Insumisa, whose leader is now a dominant figure on the left thanks to his result in the first round of the presidential elections in April (in which he came in third place with 22% of the vote), also negotiates with the communists, although with little progress. At the moment, the only party with which the LFI has reached an agreement has been Générations, the small ecological formation of the former socialist candidate of 2017, Benoît Hamon.

The project of a left-wing candidacy for the legislative elections could gather around 30% of the electorate and act as a counterweight to the centrist La República en Marcha (LREM), the party of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, which in the previous legislature counted in the Parliament a large majority.

La France Insumisa is interested in adding the Socialist Party to the leftist coalition because it is the most established progressive party in France, with 28 deputies, and controls a good number of mayors and regions. Due to the French electoral system –based on the two-round majority system–, the dispersion of the vote is punished. The French National Assembly has 577 deputies, one for each constituency.

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