French radical left intends to abstain in the second round | World

Protesters carry banner reading
Playback/Twitter

Protesters carry banner that reads “Neither Le Pen nor Macron”

A majority of voters for the French radical left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon intend to abstain or annul the vote in the second round of the presidential elections next Sunday, between the current president, Emmanuel Macron, and the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen. , points out an internal consultation of Mélenchon’s party, France Insubmissa.

According to results released on Sunday, among some 215,000 party supporters who took part in the consultation, more than 66% said they would abstain, leave the ballot blank or spoil it. Just over 33% said they would vote for Macron. The option to vote for Le Pen was not given to respondents.

“The results are not an instruction to vote for anyone. Everyone will conclude from this and vote as they see fit,” Mélenchon’s campaign team wrote on its website. Last Sunday, Mélenchon, who won about 22% of the vote, urged his supporters not to vote for Le Pen, but he did not come to defend Macron.

Macron, a pro-European Union centrist, rose to the presidency in 2017 after easily defeating Le Pen, winning 66% of the vote. At the time, voters joined him in the second round to drive the ultraconservatives out of power. Mélenchon also did not support any candidate on that occasion, and was more restrained in his criticism of Le Pen.

Last week’s first round saw the second round repeat the 2017 contest. This time, however, Macron faces a much tougher challenge. His confrontational style and policies that often leaned to the right increased resistance to a useful vote on the part of the left.

Researchers estimate the overall abstention rate for next Sunday’s election at around 30%, similar to the first round. It is unclear what the consequences of a high abstention rate are generally or among Mélenchon voters.

Both Macron and Le Pen struggle to reach voters beyond their own fields. In both 2017 and 2002 – when Marine’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen took the far right to the second round for the first time in France – a “republican front” of voters of all stripes formed to maintain the far right away from the Elisha.

On Saturday, an IPSOS-Sopra-Steria poll found that around 33% of Mélenchon voters will support Macron in the second round, with 16% supporting Le Pen. But more than 50% of the people questioned refused to give their opinion.

Corruption allegations

Le Pen and her relatives were the target of corruption allegations on Saturday, involving the embezzlement of money from the European Parliament when she was a deputy there between 2004 and 2017.

According to a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf), written a month ago and revealed by the French website Mediapart on Saturday, “the financial impact of the facts found amounts to at least € 617,379.7”. The facts denounced include the use of European funds for internal party events and personal expenses.

According to Olav, the complaints “can give rise to criminal proceedings against former deputies (…) for fraudulent acts they committed to the detriment of the Union Budget”. Among the possible offenses, the office cites “fraud”, “forgery”, “breach of trust” and “embezzlement of public funds” for political or personal purposes.

The Réunion National (RN) candidate in the presidential elections is accused of having embezzled €136,993.99 and community money when she was a European deputy, between 2004 and 2017. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is suspected of having embezzled €303,545 .76. The report also cites RN board member Bruno Gollnisch for the €43,257 embezzlement, former Marine Le Pen teammate Louis Aliot for the €2,493.22 embezzlement, and the far-right political group Europe of Nations and Liberties (ENL), suspected of embezzling €131,089.

One of Le Pen’s lawyers, Rodolphe Bosselut, told Mediapart that he “doesn’t know anything” about the allegations in the report”, that he “never had access to it” and that Olaf “is not independent”. The lawyer also criticized the “coincidence” of the publication of the complaint with “the campaign for the second round of the presidential elections, which is in full swing”.

The complaint undermines the image of honesty that Le Pen tries to convey in the campaign.

The candidate has appealed to working-class and rural sectors of Mélenchon’s electorate, focusing her message on the cost of living, rising food prices and high gasoline prices after the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, she accuses Macron of being the candidate of the rich.

Macron, for his part, is trying to appeal to the more educated, center-left and urban segments of Mélenchon’s supporters.

On Saturday, he told supporters in Marseille, who voted heavily for Mélenchon, that he had heard his message and would focus his new presidency on making France fossil-free. He accused Le Pen of being a “climate skeptic”. The candidate replied:

“I don’t know what he’s basing it on, but I’ve never been skeptical about the weather. I have a program that takes the environment and ecology into consideration,” Le Pen told France 3 television.

Macron’s pledges to do more for the environment may not hit the mark for some voters. Green Party chief Julien Bayou said the president lacks credibility on the matter.

“He had five years to act and he didn’t,” he told Franceinfo radio, adding that the call for the Greens to vote for Macron was purely to prevent the far right from coming to power.

Get in on
Last Second channel on Telegram

and see the main news of the day in Brazil and in the World.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

Check Also

Cats know each other’s names and the names of people they live with

In recent years, scientists have been proving that cats really do connect deeply with humans, …