21:46 GMT +326 March 2017
Live
    French presidential election candidate for the left-wing French Socialist (PS) party Benoit Hamon (R) talks with an unionist of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) next to former presidential candidate for the Green Party Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) Yannick Jadot (C) during a visit at a fast-food on February 27, 2017 in Paris

    All for One, One for All: French Left Finds Fraternité in Hostility to Moscow

    © AFP 2017/ Philippe Lopez
    Politics
    Get short URL
    10131339

    The two leading French political parties in favor of maintaining and toughening anti-Russian policy, the Socialists and the Greens, have announced a merger of their programs and the nomination of a single candidate for April's presidential elections. Russian observers consider the moderate left's chances for victory.

    French Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon and Green Party leader Yannick Jadot reached an agreement on a joint candidacy on February 23, with Jadot giving up his election bid and endorsing Hamon; three days later, Green Party voters confirmed their party's support via e-voting. In his own party, Hamon is seen as a representative of the left-wing and green side of the Socialist Party.

    Joining forces, the moderate left now hopes that Hamon will be able to catch up to polling leaders, including the National Front's Marine Le Pen, the Republicans' Francois Fillon, and En Marche's Emmanuel Macron, each of whom are between 4.5-12 percentage points ahead of Hamon and the Socialists.

    Russian observers first took note of Hamon's anti-Russian stance during his party's primary campaign, which concluded in January, when he defeated former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and secured his party's nomination. 

    During the campaign, Hamon repeatedly accused President Francois Hollande, a fellow Socialist, of appeasing Russia. "This attitude of complacency with regard to Vladimir Putin – I cannot understand it! We're talking about an aggressive imperialism by the Russians, and we should respond with firmness, not complacency," Hamon said during one primary event. 

    In his own analysis on the Socialist-Green electoral alliance, RIA Novosti contributor Igor Gashkov pointed out that even among the batch of Socialist candidates, where a mild hostility toward Russia was seen as the norm, Hamon stood out.

    As for Jadot, he too has been just as firm an opponent to normalizing relations with Moscow. Last fall, in his capacity as an MP in the European Parliament, the politician demanded that President Hollande cancel Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Paris. Jadot's recommendations were taken into account, the meeting at Elysee Palace was shortened, and this resulted in Moscow cancelling the visit. During that campaign, the Green politician called Putin the "butcher of the Syrian city of Aleppo." 

    As Gashkov pointed out, "the unfriendly attitude toward Moscow is well within the tradition of the Socialist Party and the Greens. Russia is seen by France's moderate left as a country of the right wing political choice, and a reminder of the potential alternative for France itself – in the form of a victory by the National Front candidate Marine Le Pen." 

    Among the left, only the far-left Unsubmissive France Party and their candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon "retain an amicable attitude toward Moscow, with some reservations." As per the tradition of the far left, Melenchon is also skeptical toward the EU and globalization, but is skeptical of National Front's position on immigration.

    Before Jadot withdrew his candidacy, opinion polling saw him polling at about 15% of the vote. Combining the vote of the Socialists and the Greens is expected to give them about 20%. Experts have calculated that the expected threshold to making it into the second round of voting, which will take place May 7 following the April 23 first round, is about 25%. According to Gashkov, for Hamon to catch up with Emmanuel Macron and his centrists, the Socialists will be likely to seek a strategy of consolidating the country's Muslim voters around themselves.

    Hamon, the journalist recalled, has considered Muslims constituting the basis of his electorate throughout much of his career. "He was elected to France's parliament from Trappes, a majority of whose residents are Muslims. In a recent scandal surrounding the coffee shops of Saint-Denis (where Muslim owners didn't allow women into their shops), Hamon was perhaps the only one who took the side of the faithful. The unconventional position turned out extremely successful politically; Muslim votes allowed Hamon to achieve victory in the primaries."

    Furthermore, Gashkov noted, "Hamon is likely appealing to Muslim voters with his key economic program – the introduction of a guaranteed monthly income. Many of France's 6-8 million Muslims are unemployed. The opportunity to increase their income without employment is seen as an attractive alternative by this section of the population."

    Unfortunately for the Socialist, Emmanuel Macron is also competing for the Muslim vote. A year and a half ago, following the November 2015 Paris attacks, the politician said that France bore some of the responsibility for the radicalization of terrorists who committed the terrorist attacks. Since then, he has continued his fight, calling the colonization of Algeria a "crime against humanity," and saying that traditional French culture didn't exist.

    Ultimately, Gashkov noted that in their competition for the same electorate, Hamon and Macron "have to share not only common assets, but also a common liability. Both men served in the Hollande administration at the ministerial rank, and thus participated in the construction of a new French socialism, or putting it more mildly, 'in Hollandeism'. The result of the president's efforts has disappointed the vast majority of French voters – not least because Hollande could not keep his campaign promises. Whether or not his colleagues will be more effective remains to be seen – on the condition that France again opts for the left in this year's elections."

    Related:

    Francois Fillon Backs Lifting Anti-Russia Sanctions to Shore Up Farming
    France's Dialogue With Russia Should Not Be Built on 'Weakness' - Hamon
    French Elections: Arch-Conservative Fillon Supporter Touts 'Pragmatic Approach'
    Paris Tries to Use Russia to 'Divert Attention Away From Major Internal Crisis'
    Russian Senator Says French Presidential Hopeful Macron Backed by US
    Sputnik, RT Dismiss Claims by Macron's Ally of Spreading 'Fake' News
    Tags:
    French presidential election, presidential election, analysis, Yannick Jadot, Benoit Hamon, Jean-Luc Melenchon, Emmanuel Macron, Francois Hollande, Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon, Russia, France
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • sapper
      I would rather buy a used car from Le Pen than from one of her opponents. If the voters want real change vote for Le Pen, otherwise they are going for another five years of misery!!
    • avatar
      Donboston27
      The French voting far left deserve neither their culture nor their country , to appease the muslim population they defend and try to implement parts of sharia law in a " democratic country " and so little by little they will give in more and mire until they cant resist calls to implement strickt islamic rule , France voters are digging their own graves by voting for the left islamic appologizts and selling out their own culture snd people , I see France as an islamic country few generations down the road and quite frankly they deserve nothing less
    • avatar
      Marques rouges
      This Likud vs Bund worldwide BS is becoming tiring... add to that it seems they are aiming towards another crisis à la WWII.
    • avatar
      armorin reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper, the French have a mind I do not understand well... I too would buy a 2nd hand car from Marine Le Pen, but never from the 'gredins' in power there.
      That 1789 Revolution has decidedly marked them grievously...
    • md74
      Mergers, political assasination attemps, media... the Swamp is very busy nowadays. One of their puppets has to win, by all means.
    • sapperin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
      armor, I think it's the old attitude of "my dad voted this way and his dad before him" ad infinitum. They don't realise that if they give their power away it is going to be abused. The other thing somebody said was that French women are considered 2nd class citizens as well, so as you say the French are hard to understand. Hope this time round sense prevails!!
    • avatar
      armorin reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper, I think like you : hope this time round sense prevails. Because, there are huge signs that this time, this year 2017, it's different, very different, and it's also the centenary year of Fatima. Miracles do happen. In 1917, there was a least one very, very strong miracle , at a very public place, in front of + -- 70,000 people....
    • sapperin reply toarmor(Show commentHide comment)
      armor, A lot of people do not understand that a massive shift is underway. For better info google Lada Ray futurist trendcast and also David Icke which will give you a better idea of what is happening!!
    • avatar
      armorin reply tosapper(Show commentHide comment)
      sapper, thank you : much obliged. Will search.
    Show new comments (0)