Mathilde Panot keeps her job but changes dimension. The MP for the 10th constituency of Val-de-Marne was re-elected on Tuesday at the age of 33, patron saint of LFI deputies.
The rebels went from 17 to some 75 in the new Assembly. Mathilde Panot was unanimously confirmed as their leader during the group’s first meeting, launched by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “With the Nupes, we will be a combative and determined opposition”, immediately tweeted the only candidate, who had again pleaded on Monday for a single group on the left to exceed the RN group in weight.
“The designated heiress” of Mélenchon
With this re-election, “she is the designated heir”, points out a heavyweight of the presidential majority. The rebellious leader had handed over to him at the head of the group in October 2021, in order to carry out his presidential campaign. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has often praised her qualities as an activist and organizer: “Nothing scares her”.
Mathilde Panot hoped to enter the government in the event of victory of the rebellious in the legislative elections. She will rather have to manage egos and the integration of newcomers to LFI. And as the leader of the most important group on the left, having to set the tone without lending the flank to the criticism of a hegemony. “Well capped”, she will have to “make the link” given that the rebellious are “only fighters with volcanic characters”, thus advises her colleague Alexis Corbière. Some macronists also hope for leadership disputes at LFI, between her, Raquel Garrido and François Ruffin.
The LFI group has for five years sought to pose as the first opponent to Emmanuel Macron, by multiplying speeches in the hemicycle and outbursts, even to annoy. Mathilde Panot herself “is in systematic criticism, each time she speaks and whatever the subject”, deplores the deputy LREM Sophie Panonacle, who rubbed shoulders with her in the Sustainable Development Committee. “She is often in exaggeration, on the other hand she is really invested in the files”, in particular on water or nuclear power, recognizes the former Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili.
Sciences po and the associative world
The rebellious, they are full of praise: “a very creative woman who works a lot” according to Sarah Legrain, with “strength and human management” for Danièle Obono. “We often remember her thundering personality but it is not an incantation: she is experienced, works a lot, provides a lot of proposals”, greets the communist Stéphane Peu.
A graduate of Sciences Po, this daughter of teachers was drawn into politics by the former right-hand man of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, François Delapierre, when she headed the association Voisins Malin, in Grigny in Essonne, which aims to develop neighborhood solidarity. In 2017, she coordinated the support groups during the presidential campaign of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and notably initiated the caravans for equal rights, before being elected to the Palais-Bourbon.