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The last stand of the “Popular Primary” for the union of the left

The last stand of the “Popular Primary” for the union of the left

The last stand of the “Popular Primary” for the union of the left

The “People’s Primary” activists have faith. That’s good: to praise the union of the left in the presidential election, it is necessary. For months, the association has struggled – to put it mildly – to convince the main parties to actually participate in a primary bringing together the forces of the left. So it’s time for action: since Monday and until November 30, volunteers stand tall in front of the headquarters of Europe Ecology-Les Verts, the Socialist Party and La France insoumise

As every day since Monday, Gaëlle Guillou, coordinator of the volunteers of the Popular Primary in Île-de-France, settled, this Thursday, in front of the headquarters of rebellious France, in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Armed with two orange signs, a gourd and a plastic bag to avoid wetting her pants when she sits on the ground, she tries to call out the rebellious activists who pass by. “I come from the end of the morning until 3 pm, so I take advantage of the entries and exits of the lunch break”, explains the 23-year-old young woman to 20 Minutes.

Do pedagogy

The idea is of course to make pedagogy around this primary, the outlines of which we do not always understand very well: for the past six months, tens of thousands of people have sponsored candidates for the Popular Primary, including some had not applied. Thus, Christiane Taubira, who forfeited the presidential election, is one – with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo – of the ten personalities qualified for the vote which is to take place from January 13 to 16. Another subtlety: the vote will be by majority judgment (voters express themselves on each candidacy, the one with the “best score” wins).

On the fourth day of the sit-in, things didn’t go too badly. On Tuesday, Gaëlle Guillou even ran into Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who asked her if she was not too cold. Sometimes he is offered coffee. “But it gets tense sometimes, some people get annoyed when they see me every day,” notes the activist. “We recognize that coming to the party seats like that, it’s a hard message, but we assume,” says Robin Le Prioul, from the mobilization pole of the Popular Primary, also present Thursday morning in front of the LFI headquarters.

Free hugs

But everything is a matter of tact, because it is not a question either of pointing the parties, which have until November 30 to confirm or not their participation. So the association acquired a mascot: the popular Primary teddy bear, to give free hugs and “show that yes, we put pressure on them, but we love them”, explains Robin Le Prioul. The bear, which doesn’t really have a name, claims to be “in a dynamic of love”. The health argument and some different policies will nevertheless prevent it from having the expected success in front of the building. Sometimes, a dialogue begins in front of the door of the building, but is cut short in the face of misunderstandings on both sides.

In the Socialist Party, in front of which the activists of the Popular Primary also camp – but say they meet less people -, one affirms not to see the initiative “with a dim view”. And even have “the greatest respect” for its promoters. Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the PS, has also met them, specifies to 20 Minutes Pierre Jouvet, party spokesperson. But it stops there. For him, the approach comes too late: “From now on, all the parties have their candidacy, we will not be able to make a rally on the merits. “Or too soon:” My conviction is that the gathering could still take place, but in the middle of winter. At that moment, Anne Hidalgo will appear as the one who is best placed and the others will have to question themselves. Everyone obviously sees the gathering at their doorstep.

Popular Primary does not weigh heavily

The 165,000 registered and registered and registered to date for People’s Primary do not seem to weigh very heavily. “And yet, it is eight times the number of votes obtained by Anne Hidalgo in the internal vote in the PS, it is already more than in the environmentalist primary!” », Protested Gaëlle Guillou. Before the seat of rebellious France, the argument does not work, since Jean-Luc Mélenchon already claims 260,000 citizen sponsorships. ” Come join us ! », We say on the rebellious side. “But do you think he can win on his own?” », Answer the pro-primary.

It is an understatement to say that the members of the Popular Primary do not understand the strategy of the left parties, in this case the rebels: “If they think that Jean-Luc Mélenchon is not capable of winning the primary, how could he win the presidential election? »Asks Robin Le Priol. Still not desperate, he says People’s Primary receives positive signals and new recruits every day. The activist warns that they “will go to the end” and will be there every day in front of the headquarters of LFI, EELV and the PS. With one person each time – “because the symbol is stronger than with a group” – the path seems narrow.


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