Tuesday, March 20, 2012

France: NPA Confirm Presidential Candidate

Lisbeth Latham

The Neaveau Parti Anticatiliste (NPA) announced March 13 that they had completed the final administrative step in nominating Philippe Poutou for the April 22 Presidential election. Poutou is a Confédération générale du travail (CGT) militant at Ford’s Bordeaux plant.

Under France’s undemocratic electoral system presidential candidates require the endorsement of 500 of a list of 45, 000 elected officials, the majority of which are municipal mayors. Presidential nomination is a simple process for larger parties as they can rely on the endorsement from their own members. For smaller parties the process requires that they convince officials from the larger parties to endorse their candidate, which means it is possible for the larger parties to actively exclude smaller parties from the elections and rob people of the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidate.

This is precisely what has occurred to the NPA and other parties to the left of the Parti Socialiste (PS), with the PS leadership sending a letter to its elected officials directing them to not endorse the presidential candidates of other parties. Despite this obstacle, after more than eight months work of talking to elected officials across France, NPA activists were able to obtain endorsement from 520 officials.

Official nomination will help to secure a greater public profile for Poutou’s candidacy. It remains to this increased exposure enable Poutou to lift his current support of 0.5-1% in opinion polls.


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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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