The hard-left leader is prepared to fight in parliament or on the streets. And attacking Macron on employees claims is first on the agenda

Entering the French lower residence of parliament as an MP for the first time last week, Jean-Luc Mlenchon pointed to the European flag planted next to the French tricolor, turned to the camera tracking him and said: Do we have to put up with that?

Earlier he stood on the steps of the Assemble Nationale, alongside the other 16 newly elected MPs from his hard-left defendant La France Insoumise( France Unbowed ), elevated a clenched fist and screamed Resistance.

Mlenchon proclaimed they were there as opposition MPs in the services offered of the people. He had begun as he means to go on for the next five years going head-to-head with president Emmanuel Macrons La Rpublique en Marche( La REM) majority government.

It is a battle that will be fought in parliament and as Mlenchon has made it clear out on wall street if necessary.

Macron, a former investment banker who is deeply pro-Europe, is seeking to loosen Frances complex labour lawsto allow companies to hire and barrage more easily, negotiate working hours and wages with both the employees and not the unions, and cap unfair refusal pay-outs. Frances youngest chairperson is planning to use ordinances a process to push through legislation instantly by edict which French leagues will harshly struggle as sweeping away social dialogue and consultation. He has also pledged to cut public expenditure by 60 bn and lay off 120,000 public-sector proletarians. Mlenchon has predicted not a single franchise on proletarians claims without a fight.

His party has only 17 fannies out of a total of 577 in the National Assembly but is at least a unified resist, which is more than can be said for national elections runners-up, the republican Rpublicains, which prevailed 112 constituencies but is currently tearing itself apart, or the Socialist party, which is also catastrophically riven and now has just 29 posteriors compared with 295 in 2012. Macrons REM has 308 sets and his allied Democratic Movement, MoDem, party has 42.

Mlenchon gearing up for the second round of parliamentary elections earlier this month. Photograph: Claude Paris/ AP

Even so, the political scientist Dominique Reyni, director of the progressive centre-right thinktank Fondapol, said he doubted everything “il be going” the route Macron missed formerly the electoral honeymoon date was over. He will face opponent. If not in parliament then outside, on the street, Reyni said.

Bruno Jeanbart, deputy managing director of the pollsters OpinionWay, had previously been advised even before Macrons succes: Where is the resist? If it doesnt is true in parliament, it will happen in wall street, in the press.

Their alerts were echoed this week by Luc Rouban, a political scientist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, who described the political place in France as potentially explosive. Rouban said FI could put up a little fight but opponent is likely to express itself outside parliament.

Even before he took up his seat in the Assemble Nationale, Mlenchon was establishing headlines. Denoting to one of Macrons more flamboyant new and inexperienced MPs, the prizewinning mathematician Cdric Villani, as the maths person, he lent: Ill explain to him what the labour act is all about and hell be astonished. Hes no sentiment whats in it! He doesnt realise the eight-hour work day was research results of 100 years of engagement. Villani responded in good humour. Dear Jean-Luc Mlenchon, he tweeted. As director of IHP[ a scientific experiment centre ], Ive realise toil contracts. But its ever a great pleasure to have a private exercise!

Rouban was of the view that Mlenchon and the far-right Front National manager Marine Le Pen, who was also elected to the French parliament for the first time with seven other FN MPs, could become the cheerleaders for a social challenge, a strong topic for the presidential election. The place was seen even more erratic, he said, because the opposition parties had little real dominance. And the decider would be whether “what theyre saying” carries any heavines with public opinion or whether there is a shape of apathy among the working classes and of perseverance among the upper classes.

Pierre Gattaz, head of the French business leaders organisation Medef, rejected the idea of Mlenchon contributing all types of plausible opposition to Macron. He said Mlenchons worship of Cubas Fidel Castro and Venezuelas Hugo Chvez became him a male whose notions were extremely dangerous.

He can talk. He has a great knack for oratory, but well have to see how it finishes for those who employed their religion in a person who has speaks well, but whose impressions will lead to ruining and unhappines for France, Gattaz told the Anglo-American Press Association.

We have to call a spade a spade. He has never rendered a single hypothesi for creating jobs in France. Give Mr Mlenchon set up his own companionship and create a few jobs and then he can say something.

Gattaz, who believes Macrons economic reform plans do not go far enough said he was optimistic that reform would happen. If not, we will be looking at Mlenchon and Le Pen in the second round in 2022, he said.

Asked where he saw opposition to Macrons economically radical curriculum coming from, Gattaz said possibly from the streets.

The historian Jean Garrigues said opposition political parties had few weapons against an absolute parliamentary majority, adding that the opposition vote against cant become much difference and they had the choice of ganging up on the governmental forces by meeting thrusts or taking the fight to the streets. The latter only wielded when theres pressure from the trade unions and public opinion. Olivier Rozenberg, associate professor at SciencesPo university, said: The opponent isnt going to change statutes, but they are in a position make their point of view heard. They thrust the majority of members to justify itself, which is important.

Mlenchon believes that his best ally is the record 57% faction of French voters who, orphaned by the disintegration of the traditional left and right defendants, did not irritant to throw a vote in national elections. The president has no legitimacy to inflict a social coup. I see in this abstention an vigour that’s available if we know how to use it for our struggle, he said.


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