Communist World News

French far-left candidate rises in polls

In Europe on April 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Paris, France — French far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is on the rise in the French presidential polls.

The self-described anticapitalist and former Trotskyist who claims to want to put the “people first” is rising in the French presidential race. Last month Melenchon, who is backed by the French Communist Party, called for a “civic insurrection” in France. His social capitalist competition, Hollande, of the Socialist Party fell two points to 28.5 percent. Centre right-wing candidate and current president of France, Sarkozy, polled at 27.5 percent. Far-left Melenchon polled at 15 percent which would see him at the third place in the first-round vote on 22 April. Meanwhile far-right candidate LePen polled at 13.5 percent.

Melenchon is said to have no chance winning the elections and jeopardising left-wing cohesion by drawing away votes from Hollande. Melenchon has compelled Hollande as well as Sarkozy to adopt pro-worker rhetoric in the chase for the electorate. Hollande, for example, proposed an income tax of 75 percent for those with an income of more than one million.

The popularity of Melenchon shows a rising disillusionment with capitalism in France. A 2008 poll by the BBC showed that 43 percent of the French population considered capitalism fundamentally flawed and thought it required to be replaced by another system. Revolutionary socialists, however, criticise Melenchon for being reformist and not being anticapitalist enough.

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