Jean-Luc Mélenchon, August 23, 2020 in Valence, during the summer school of rebellious France. - Alain ROBERT / SIPA

  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon made his political comeback during the “Summer Amphis” of rebellious France this weekend.
  • On Sunday, he gave a speech with presidential campaign accents, in front of around 2,000 people gathered in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère, in the Drôme. But the deputy for Bouches-du-Rhône is procrastinating: he will announce if he is a candidate for 2022 in October.
  • The sites are already open: the rebels are getting down to perfecting their presidential program and are continuing their discussions with ecologists and leftist formations.

Under the sun and the "Mélenchon president", the boss of rebels has made his political comeback. Jean-Luc Mélenchon closed, Sunday, the summer university of rebellious France at the edge of a lake in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère (Drôme). After disappointing scores in the European elections in 2019 and in the municipal elections in 2020, the movement is heading for the presidential election of 2022, even before having nominated its candidate. On the menu for this rebellious return to school, the preparation of the presidential program, discussions with The Greens and, ultimately, a change in strategy.

Make a decision for 2022

To launch this season, Jean-Luc Mélenchon gave a speech of 1 h 40, in front of about 2,000 people gathered in the open air, health precautions oblige. The tribune addressed the health and social crisis, employment, and gave a large place to ecology. "We found accents of his campaign speeches of 2017, even 2012. This is confirmation that he has influence, a capacity for mobilization and conviction", rejoices Alexis Corbière, deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis .

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not (yet) officially in the campaign, however, since he has chosen to delay, finding it indecent to “appoint a candidate” in times of the coronavirus crisis. "I will make my decision in October, before that I will consult each of my friends in depth," he said. But "two successive votes gave me the legitimacy that no congress vote will ever give to anyone", he also tackled to other political parties.

Internally, his candidacy seems to be consensus. "I do not see a candidate emerging on the left and doing better than him", judge Adrien Quatennens, deputy from the North and coordinator of the movement. For his friend Alexis Corbière, "he is in the best position" to be the candidate of La France insoumise in 2022. "He has already carried our ideas during two presidential elections [in 2012 and 2017], he has influence throughout the country . Its name is almost a brand, a program, ”praises the elected official. "The climate is appeased at LFI, there is collective relief because there will be no internal battle for this candidacy".

Reach out to green people (but not too much)

The boss of the rebels was also displayed with the mayor Europe-Ecology-the Greens (EELV) of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, Friday, in favor of gathering the left. “His presence here has a meaning that there is no question of reducing,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “In the moment we find ourselves, we have to get to the point, certainly discuss the disagreements but also savor what we agree on”, he added. Because the objective of this new school year is also to reach out to environmentalists, who are on the rise after their good scores in European and municipal elections.

But no question of letting the party of Yannick Jadot and Julien Bayou monopolize the theme of the environment, while the green party is divided on its presidential strategy. "Of course we have a debt with respect to the historical current of political ecology, but on your side you cannot act as if everything was reserved for you", declared the rebellious Friday, alongside Eric Piolle. A rally dedicated to the role of the State in the face of the ecological emergency will also be organized by LFI in October.

If alliances for the departmental and regional elections of 2021 will be concluded between the two parties, Jean-Luc Mélenchon suggested that the union would be more complicated for the presidential election, in particular given "important differences on the State and the Europe ”. Discussions between ecologists and rebels will resume in September, and the movement also exchanges with the Communist Party. In November, an agreement will determine LFI's strategic orientations for the 2022 campaign.

Go from “conflictuality” to membership

The rebels also want to place this return under the sign of politicization, a battle horse to fight abstention, this "civic strike", according to Jean-Luc Mélenchon. "The crisis, the social emergency that is befalling the country will be a strong marker of this re-entry", assures Sarah Legrain, member of the coordination of "spaces" of LFI. "Faced with the indigence of the government's recovery plan, we can demonstrate that we are a movement in action, which offers concrete solutions to the French and which advocates solidarity," she continues, recalling that the rebels ask for free masks or organize maraudes via local citizen action groups.

To achieve this, the rebels turn a page. "We were in the strategy of conflict, we must now open the season of common causes", theorizes Adrien Quatennens. “Because to win in 2022, it will not be enough to be anti-Macron. We want to lead a movement of adhesion by asserting ourselves even more as an opposition which is force of proposal ”. LFI therefore want to multiply "concrete measures" and continue the declination of the presidential program in legislative proposals, to make the "ready-to-govern", according to the formula of his boss.


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  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon
  • Presidential
  • France rebellious