NATO’s man Glucksmann joins the left coalition to undermine it

French MEP Glucksmann joins left-wing union New Popular Front, vows clear stance on Gaza, Ukraine

Jun 14, 2024

Glucksmann, whose party trailed in third place in the European Parliamentary elections last week, told France Inter radio on Friday morning: “The only thing that matters to me is that the Rassemblement National (National Rally or RN) don’t win and won’t govern. That’s what’s important, and the only way to do that is a leftist union,” he said.

Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally scored an unprecedented 31 percent of the French votes in the European elections last week, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve parliament and call legislative elections.

Macron’s own centre-right alliance came a distant second place in the European elections, garnering less than half of the votes won by the National Rally.

In a bid to block the far right in France’s upcoming elections, a group of left-wing parties, including the Socialist Party (PS), the Greens and the French Communist Party (PCF) and La France insoumise (France Unbowed or LFI) party, on Thursday agreed to form an alliance, the New Popular Front.

“We can’t leave France to the Le Pen family,” 44-year-old Glucksman, who led the Socialist-backed list in the European elections, told the broadcaster.

Le Pen took over as the leading figure of the nationalist, populist National Front from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, renamed it and stood three times as its presidential candidate.

Opinion polls suggest her party will massively increase its parliamentary presence from its current 88 out of 577 seats.

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Glucksmann accused Macron of plunging France “into chaos”.

“He has opened the way to power for the far right. Since Sunday night, I’ve had a knot in my stomach,” he said.

Glucksmann told France Inter that he had obtained “extremely clear commitments” on Ukraine, Europe and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the new alliance.

“It’s been hard, but what we’ve obtained is a very clear commitment on support for Ukraine (…), on support for European construction, and that the attacks of October 7 be described as ‘terrorist’,” he said.

He also said that the controversial hard-left firebrand and three-time French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon “will not be prime minister. We need someone who can achieve consensus.”

The parties in the new left-wing alliance are due to address reporters later Friday.

The French political landscape has been left in chaos since Macron’s election announcement. Earlier this week, the conservative Les Républicains voted to oust their president, Éric Ciotti, after he called for an alliance with the National Rally.

But Ciotti insisted on Thursday that he was still the party leader, dismissing the effort to oust him as “quibbles, little battles by mediocre people … who understand nothing about what’s going on in the country”, saying the decision was legally void. A Paris court is set to examine the case on Friday.

Meanwhile, the National Rally’s 28-year-old party chairman, Jordan Bardella, on Friday said that his and Ciotti’s parties would nonetheless put up joint candidates in 70 of France’s 577 constituencies, hailing what he said was a “historic agreement”.

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Speaking on television, he said he wanted to obtain the “broadest possible majority”.

France’s legislative elections will be held on June 30 and July 7.

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