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Divided and in difficulty, the Nupes is looking for the instructions to find the union

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All the deputies of the Nupes take part on Tuesday evening in a working seminar aimed at taking stock of the sequence of retirements, but also at defining a strategy for the months to come. A task that promises to be delicate, as the divisions – within the left alliance, but also the Socialist Party – have been exposed, especially since the election on Sunday of a socialist dissident in Ariège.

All that for this. The New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) had announced a march by its deputies from the National Assembly to the Elysee Palace on Tuesday April 4 to deliver a letter demanding the withdrawal of the pension reform to the head of the State. They were to be 150 to cross the Seine, then the Place de la Concorde, to demand to be received by Emmanuel Macron. The image was intended to create a buzz. But faced with the differences of some and the reluctance of others, they were finally only a handful of parliamentariansmainly communists, to go in the morning in front of the Elysée, where Patrick Strzoda, the director of the president’s cabinet, was kind enough to collect their mail.

This failed communication operation, which is part of a context of divisions, promises a turbulent work seminar for the Nupes intergroup. Gathered on Tuesday evening for the third time only in nine months, all the deputies of La France insoumise (LFI), the Socialist Party (PS), Europe Écologie-Les Verts (EELV) and the Communist Party (PCF) are invited to take stock of the sequence of retreats, but also to iron out their differences and discuss the parliamentary strategy for the months to come.

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“Contrary to what I hear, there is no crisis at Nupes, wants to reassure LFI deputy Éric Coquerel. There will be discussions, but there are no differences on the merits, the left is united on a program of rupture. Now, we have endorsed the idea of ​​seeing each other more often by organizing a seminar once a month. The goal is to create more links and debates between us, with more frequent meetings. “

There will be no shortage of debates about the new deputy for Ariège, for whom the identity of the group where she will sit in the National Assembly has not yet been decided. Dissident socialist candidate, Martine Frogier was elected on Sunday April 2 at the expense of the outgoing LFI deputy supported by the Nupes, Bénédicte Taurine, again bringing to light the internal divisions among the socialists, between pro and anti-Nupes.

The first secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, denounced this election on Sunday evening in a press release clearly suggesting that the newly elected had no place within the socialist group. “Being elected with the support of all the right, that allows us to win this evening against the union of the left and environmentalists. It will not allow us to build the alternative that the country needs. That’s what we calls it a Pyrrhic victory,” he wrote on Twitter.

Contacted by France 24, he drives the point home: “Getting elected thanks to the right and the far right and seeing that you have the whole government and the far right who are welcoming it by talking about an inverted republican roadblock, it’s is a moral shipwreck. What majority can you build when you have the rest of the left as your main opponent?

La Nupes “cannot accommodate a dissident”

Eliminated in the first round, the candidate of the Renaissance party, Anne-Sophie Tribout, had indeed called to vote for the dissident socialist in the second round. And on Sunday evening, several ministers – Olivier Dussopt, Clément Beaune, Franck Riester –, but also the boss of the Renaissance group in the Assembly, Aurore Bergé, and the deputy of the National Rally Julien Odoul congratulated Martine Froger on her victory.

On the side of the anti-Nupes socialists, this election is on the contrary the sign that the alliance with LFI advocated since the spring of 2022 by Olivier Faure is a dead end. The victory of Martine Froger, supported in particular by former Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, the president of the Occitanie region Carole Delga, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the mayor of Rouen and leader of the opposition to Olivier Faure, Nicolas Mayer- Rossignol, would be the illustration of the desire of left-wing voters for a less radical line.

“This is proof that a Nupes with a dominant rebellious France does not work. It’s a glass ceiling”, explained Monday to AFP Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, in the continuity of his press release of Sunday evening, which called for “another rally of the left”.

Socialist MP Valérie Rabault for her part judged, on Tuesday on Franceinfo, that Olivier Faure’s press release was “a scandal” and called on her parliamentary group to welcome into its midst “an activist who has given a lot to the Socialist Party”.

The rest of Nupes is on the alert, in particular the LFI group. “She cannot sit with us. We cannot welcome a dissident who had one of our deputies beaten. Let her go to Liot, as has already been suggested”, affirms Éric Coquerel, in reference to the group Liberties, Independents, Overseas, Territories composed of centrist elected officials.

Beyond the Martine Froger case, it is indeed the overall strategy of Nupes which will be put on the table on Tuesday evening. Some deputies recognize that the excesses of the rebellious end up being detrimental to the whole of the left. Especially since the government, and in particular the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, occupies the media ground with a strategy of demonizing Nupes.

“The Nupes is outdated, we must gather well beyond”

“Obviously, the speech of Gérald Darmanin, for whom the left is anti-republican, eco-terrorist and Islamo-leftist, has a vocation: it aims to disqualify by words and to rally from the center-right to the extreme right on the question of the order. It’s a very dangerous game,” said Olivier Faure.

“It’s a message that is gradually getting into people’s heads, abounds EELV deputy Sandrine Rousseau. But it is also a sign that what we are building on the left worries power. Whether on pensions or on basins , these are projects of a past world and the French are fed up with liberal policies and they are fed up with being taken for fools. It is up to us to be at the rendezvous of History.”

The ecologist deputy, who proposes “a form of Constituent Assembly of the Nupes”, is one of those who have been pleading for several months for an “act II” of the Nupes. The expression flourished and even Jean-Luc Mélenchon ended up subscribing to it, Sunday April 2, on France 3declaring himself a “supporter” of a new stage in the union of the left.

>> To read also: By demonizing the left, is Emmanuel Macron playing “a rather dangerous game”?

“We need new common rules and we must aim to build a coalition project that allows us to converge on the substance, all in unity”, insists Olivier Faure.

Can this coalition open up to the movement of Bernard Cazeneuve, who supported the dissident Martine Froger? This is what the boss of the Communists Fabien Roussel demands, Monday April 3, in an interview with The Express.

“The Nupes, it is outdated. We must bring together well beyond that. We must speak to the entire left. It is unimaginable to exclude anyone if we want to embody a force of progress capable of l ‘win,’ judges the former presidential candidate.

A proposal which did not fail to warm up the spirits a little more before the meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening. “I propose to Fabien Roussel to devote himself to the organization of his barbecue with Cazeneuve and to leave the Nupes alone. His little game of divider has already cost us the second round of the presidential election”, reacted in particular on Twitter the deputy LFI Paul Vanier.

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