Tuesday

5th Mar 2024

New French far left party to run solo in European elections

The French far left New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) launched its campaign for the European elections on Monday (9 March), refusing to join a united Left Front coalition made up of the Communist Party and the Left Party (Parti de Gauche), once again confirming the division of the French far left.

The Left Front (Front de Gauche) launched its campaign on Sunday, while another far left party, Workers' Struggle (Lutte Ouvriere) presented its candidates in mid-February.

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  • Mr Besancenot - the New Anticapitalist Party's spokesperson (Photo: Etienne Andre)

"It is not possible to present common lists," the NPA said at the launch of its campaign. Although committed to a regroupment of the far left parties, the NPA wants to ensure a clean break with the Socialist Party, which it accuses of adhering to 'neo-liberal' ideas. The other parties refused to say that they would not participate in a coalition government with the Sociaists.

The NPA was originally created a year ago, in February 2008, but its founding congress took place in February this year.

It aims to be "a fighting left, anti-capitalist, internationalist, anti-racist, ecologist, feminist, appalled by all forms of discrimination," and wants "a social revolution in order to destroy capitalism."

But in order to put in place that "social revolution" and "to have done with the capitalist system," it proposes a "breaking-off with the state and its institutions, [as well as] with the European and international institutions that serve the dominant classes," according to the founding principles published on its website.

And in a resolution for the European Parliament elections adopted at its founding congress, it proposes "an emergency plan for Europe," that would include the "abrogation of all treaties and agreements of the liberal Europe – Lisbon, Barcelona, the Schengen accords."

NPA's main spokesperson is 35-year-old Olivier Besancenot, a popular figure on French television. He has said that the party would not have a single leader, but would be run collectively and represented by spokespeople.

A postman by profession, Mr Besancenot was previously the main spokesman of the former strongest far left French party, the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR).

He will not run for an MEP seat, saying he would rather remain the acting "spokesperson" of the movement.

He will be third on the NPA list in the Ile-de-France region, which will be headed by Omar Slaouti, a 42-year-old teacher.

"We had committed that the creation of the NPA would be the occasion to present new faces, new voices to incorporate what we are trying to explain politically," Mr Besancenot was quoted as saying by French news agency AFP.

According to an IFOP survey published in mid-February, the NPA would obtain nine percent of the votes in the June elections, largely ahead of the Left Front and the Workers' Struggle, which would get six and three percent, respectively, giving the far left as a whole the support of 18 percent of the population.

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