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by Olivier Mayer

France: The 2007 Electoral Campaign Starts for Marie-George Buffet

Translated Sunday 24 December 2006, by Hervé Fuyet

Marie-George Buffet announced her candidature yesterday evening at the 8 pm evening news on the French TV channel TF1, “because there is urgency to open a new way on the left”.

Marie-George Buffet yesterday evening declared her entry in the electoral campaign at the 8 pm evening news on French TV. At the end of the broadcast, she handed out to the press a declaration in which she called “the men and the women of the the Left, Communists, Socialists, ecologists, thos seeking alternative globalization, Left Republicans , all those who want a popular antiliberal Left ”, to work on the electoral campaign . “We want to offer another way on the left - that of courage and combat”, Marie-George said.

According to Marie-George Buffet, “Antiliberal unity is blocked by a debate at the top of the the collective seeking a single Left candidate for the 2007 French presidential election. No single candidate was acceptable to all groups [...] "We must get out of this dead-end ... I assume my responsibilities” since “ no candidate is generating a consensus in the antiliberal movement” and since her candidature “was widely supported by the membership of the local collectives”.

As she had said earlier, Marie-George Buffet is taking a leave from her functions as PCF national secretary, “confident in the Communist militantancy and unity ... I am taking part in the electoral campaign, not alone, not for my person or for the interest of my ’shop’ and I urge all those who want it, in the local antiliberal collectives, to do the same in order to create a dynamic and popular force ... Every day, all my acts will aim at the broadest unity for today and for tomorrow”, she announced, estimating that this move “aims at eliminating the blockage, at starting again a popular dynamic to recreate hope ”.

The day before, the national union of collectives had met with all its current components (the PRS socialists of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the Alter Ékolos have left the national union of collectives). It adopted a declaration which “takes note of the result of the vote of the members of the Communist Party on the candidature of Marie-George Buffet. It takes note that there is no common candidature of the antiliberal movement coming out of the May 10 Appeal”.

The national collective in this declaration asks the local collectives “to think together on the ways to continue the combat for different way on the left”. During this meeting, the delegation of the Communist Party recalled that its position was that “nobody should claim to be candidate of this movement without a broad consensus of the local collectives ”. It reaffirms its participation to the antiliberal movement and its support for the texts which it produced (strategic text, programme) and it wants the national collective to continue its work, in particular for the legislative elections.

Yesterday, several spokespersons of the national collective, including Eric Coquerel, Christian Picquet and Claire Villiers, held a press conference with Clémentine Autain, Patrick Braouezec, Yves Salesse and Claude Debons. According to them “Marie-George Buffet will carry only the colours of the French Communist Party" and they deplore the decision of the PCF. “We do not resign ourselves to the failure and to the impotence of the antiliberal left”, they added and they submit to the local collectives the idea of a national meeting at the end of January.

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