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2017/04/30

'Mélenchon, Hero to France’s Far-Left, Will Not Vote for Le Pen, But Won’t Endorse Macron'


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The leader of a 'far-left' ( single quotes added ) movement who won nearly 20 percent of the vote in the first round of France’s presidential election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, told his seven million voters in a YouTube address on Friday that he would not tell them how to vote in the final-round run-off next weekend.
As for himself, Mélenchon said that he would cast a ballot, and that it would not be for Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right National Front, who courted his voters in a video of her own on Friday. But Mélenchon also refused to say, like the leaders of other parties across the political spectrum — and celebrities including the French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane — that he would vote for Le Pen’s centrist rival, the former banker Emmanuel Macron, to stop the far-right from gaining power.
 https://theintercept.com/2017/04/28/melenchon-hero-frances-far-left-will-not-vote-le-pen-wont-endorse-macron/

Instead, Mélenchon predicted that forcing France to choose between a candidate of “the extreme right” and one of “extreme finance” would led to a political crisis, and left open the possibility that he would submit a blank ballot, a form of protest vote permitted under French electoral law. (Mélenchon’s platform included provisions for voting to be made mandatory, and for blank ballots to be recognized under law.)


The appeal for unity, to construct a barrage, or dam, against the rising tide of the far-right, Mélenchon said, was, in fact, a disguised attempt to force voters like him, who profoundly disagree with Macron’s economic policies, to endorse his project.
“I am not a guru, I am not a guide,” he said, standing by his refusal to endorse Macron. “I am a political leader who tries to shed light on the path,” he added, perhaps hinting that he wants to keep his new party intact ahead of the legislative elections that directly follow the presidential vote.
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