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Jean-Luc Mélenchon (fr. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, IPA (fr.):; B., Tangier) – French left-wing statesman and politician, journalist. Minister for Professional Education in the government of Lionel Jospin from 2000 to 2002. Member of the French Senate from the Eson department (1986-2000; 2004-2010). Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2017 (European United Left Faction / Left-North Green). One of the founders and presidents of the “Left Party”. Since 2017 – Member of the French National Assembly for the “Undefeated France” party.
Biography of Jean-Luc Melenchon
Born in Tangier (International Zone of Tangier, today Morocco). The parents are civil servants. In 1962, he moved to France with his mother. A philosopher by training, he studied at the University of Franche-Comté. He taught in secondary schools. He was involved very early in the radical left-wing youth movement, was a member of the National Union of French Students and participated in the Red May demonstrations of 1968. Within the French Trotskyist movement, Mélanchon joined the Lambertists, followers by Pierre Lambert of the International Communist Organization. Participation in union work in Besançon.
However, in 1977 he joined the Socialist Party of France, breaking with the Trotskyists. He actively supported French President François Mitterrand. Since 1988, Jean-Luc Melanchon has been elected to the National Council and the National Office of the Socialist Party. Together with like-minded people, he organized the “Socialist Left” (anti-capitalist movement within the ranks of the Socialist Party). From 2000 to 2002, he was Minister Delegate for Vocational Education in the government of socialist Lionel Jospin. He was senator of the department of Eson (1986-2000 and 2004-2010). He also worked at the municipal level in the Eson department.
As part of the referendum on the adoption of the Constitution of the European Union, together with internal left-wing currents of the Socialist Party and other leftists, the organization opposed its ratification, while the party leadership advocated its ratification. Taking part in the campaign against what left-wing politicians saw as the neoliberal EU Constitution brought Melanchon closer to the French Communist Party and the Trotskyists.
In 2008 he left the Socialist Party due to contradictions with its leadership (including Ségolène Royal), whom he criticized for the social-liberal course and the departure from left-wing ideas. Initiated the creation of the “Left Party” (on the model of the German “lefts” with a reference to the ideas of Jean Jaurès); became its first president. His colleague Mark Dole also participated in the work on its creation. In 2010, the party was co-chaired by the leader of the internal faction of the Green Party, who left the party himself – Martin Billard. In 2009, he was elected MEP on the list of the European United Left/Left-Greens North group. The Left Party participates in the Left Front coalition; Melanchon is one of its co-presidents.
Participation in the 2012 presidential elections of Jean-Luc Mélenchon
As the 2012 presidential elections approached, the French Communist Party intended to present its own candidate (Alain Boquet was most likely). However, during his congress, which was held from June 16 to 18, 2011, Jean-Luc Melanchon collected 59.12 % of the votes of the members of the congress and was designated as a candidate (members of other parties belonging to the Left Front participated Thus, he became a sole candidate of this alliance) According to the results of polls carried out in 2012, before the elections, Melanchon's rating was 6 to 15 %. Throughout the presidential campaign, according to some polls, he managed to move from fifth to third position among voters ready to vote for Melanchon, thus overtaking Marine Le Pen and François Bayrou.
The main feature of his program was the proclamation of the "Sixth French Republic" by modifying the French constitution. In his speeches, he repeatedly mentioned the history of the French Revolution and the Paris Commune. He called on his supporters for a peaceful “civil” revolution – a coup, which is led not by the working class, but by all citizens rooting for their country.
According to the results of the first round, Mélanchon obtained 3,985,089 votes (11.1 % of the total number of voters), thus taking fourth place. This is significantly more than the Communist Party candidate in 2007 – Marie-Georges Buffet (her result was 1.93% of the votes).
In the second round, Melanchon supported the candidacy of François Hollande, despite the fact that due to contradictions with him he left the Socialist Party in 2008. On May 6, 2012, Hollande was elected President of France.
He attempted to become a member of the French National Assembly in 2012 from the 11th electoral district of the Pas-de-Calais department on the "Left Front" list in order to arrest the leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, who was running there. However, in the first round of elections, he won 21.48 % of the votes and took third place, losing to both Marine Le Pen (42.36 % of the votes) and Philippe.
Kemel, the socialist candidate (23.5% votes). Thus, Melanchon could not obtain the right to compete for the mandate of deputy.
Participation in the 2017 presidential election of Jean-Luc Mélenchon
In February 2016, Melanchon announced his intention to participate in the 2017 presidential campaign. Refusing to participate in the “left primaries”, organized by the Socialist Party, he became a candidate for the “Undefeated France” movement created at the same time. . His program was based on his theses of 2012 with a few changes: the establishment of the Sixth Republic (i.e. the adoption of a new Constitution), the redistribution of wealth (the imposition of taxes additional income on excess income, or the reduction of the working week to 32 hours), the lowering of the retirement age to 60, France's exit from the European Union and NATO . Melanchon formulated his views in the book “L’avenir en commun” (“Common Future”), distributed in 200,000 copies.
According to Le Figaro, Melanchon's program, which provides for an increase in budgetary spending of 270 billion euros and tax increases of 120 billion euros, an increase in annual paid leave to six weeks (its duration in 2017 is of five weeks), as well as the confiscation of all income exceeding 400 thousand euros per year, inspired by the ideas of politicians such as former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
On April 4, 2017, a televised debate was organized with the participation of all eleven presidential candidates in France, the winner of which was sensationally Melanchon – his speech was recognized as the most convincing by 25% of those interviewed (Macron received support from 21% , Fillon – 15%). Moreover, according to the results of a sociological study carried out after the debate, Mélanchon with 21% support was in second place among the most likely winners of the first round of elections – after Macron (27%) and ahead of Fillon ( 20% ).
In April 2017, he made a name for himself by using the latest election campaign technologies – web radio and even his own holographic images during rallies in Nantes, Clermont-Ferrand, Montpellier, Grenoble, Nancy and Reunion.
On April 20, 2017, a number of prominent figures in American culture – Danny Glover, philosopher Noam Chomsky, playwright and feminist Eve Ensler, actor Mark Ruffalo, Nancy Fraser and Oliver Stone published a petition urging the French to “do not repeat the Clinton vs. Trump tragedy”, that is to say “do not force French voters to choose between the liberalism of the corporate establishment and xenophobic right-wing populism”, but “unite in the first round of presidential elections around the left-wing candidate with the most voter support. The authors of the petition also named this candidate – Melanchon.
On April 23, 2017, he received the support of 19.58 % voters (7,060,885 people) in the first round of voting, taking fourth place among eleven candidates and thus not reaching the second round. The best results turned out to be Mélenchon's results in overseas regions: he won in Reunion (24.53 %), in Guyana (24.7 %), in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (more than 35 % against 17.9 % for the winner of the first round on a national scale – Emmanuel Macron) and Martinique (27.3%).
Other activities (since 2017)
In the legislative elections in France, his party won 17 seats out of 577, becoming the fourth in number of deputies. He himself was elected deputy for one of the communes of Marseille.
On October 16, 2018, the house near Mélenchon and several buildings of “Undefeated France” were searched as part of the investigation into accusations of fictitious hiring of parliamentary assistants and violation of campaign financing rules, during which there were clashes between activists. and law enforcement officials. On September 20, 2019, the Bobigny court sentenced Melanchon to three months of suspended imprisonment and a fine of 8 thousand euros for obstruction of justice and rebellion, and five other defendants were sentenced to a fine of 2 thousand to 10 thousand euros (trial held two days – September 19 and 20, and Melanchon immediately called it political persecution).
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