Jean-Luc Mélenchon puts the Nupes to the test

Analyse. How many cracks in the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) seven months after its painful birth, in the wake of the first round of the presidential election? Officially, the very young alliance of the left manages to resist the crises that have crossed it since the start of the school year. The four left-wing formations that make it up even hope to leave with a bang at the start of 2023. On December 14, its main figures – from Fabien Roussel, of the French Communist Party (PCF), to Olivier Faure, of the Socialist Party (PS), via Cyrielle Chatelain, from Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), or Alexis Corbière, from La France insoumise (LFI) – showed themselves united like the fingers of one hand, ready to cross swords in January 2023 against the reform Emmanuel Macron’s pensions.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers On the pension reform, the Nupes anxious to display a united front

But, behind this idyllic picture, the results are more mixed. “Enthusiasm” created by the Nupes in the legislative elections gave way to the « confusion. Each party has withdrawn into itself., analyzes political scientist Rémi Lefebvre. This coalition exists above all in the National Assembly, where the deputies exchange views every week. Outside, it’s a dull plain. The “parliament” of Nupes, created in the spring by LFI, where the partners were to discuss program and strategy, is frozen. On the ground, a few isolated elected officials organize collective local assemblies.

Above all, Nupes offered the spectacle of its differences, despite the some 650 programmatic measures signed in the spring. The citizen will have retained the “allowance left” by Fabien Roussel, the “barbecue symbol of virility” of Sandrine Rousseau and the support given by Jean-Luc Mélenchon to Adrien Quatennens, sentenced for violence against his ex-companion, than the common fights.

The founder of La France insoumise, goldsmith of Nupes, also sends contradictory signals. On paper, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the most fervent defender of this alliance, which must lead the left to win in 2027, by imposing a single candidate. France insubordinate was even “the only political force which was intended to give an identity” at Nupes, explains Green MEP David Cormand, who saw there Mélenchon’s desire to lead “a hostile takeover on the left”.

Worrying signs

Seven months later, the former socialist senator seems to be doing everything to rile up his partners. This is the case with the January 21 march against the pension reform, which he wishes to organize against the advice of the PCF, EELV and the PS, who prefer to wait for the approval of the trade union confederations, in January. Or controversial texts, including on the left, which he chose to push, at the time of the LFI parliamentary niche, such as the abolition of bullfighting or the reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers. Texts that the Socialist Party, which had supported compulsory vaccination, would have had the greatest difficulty in voting. So many signals that worry some LFI executives.

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