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First round of legislative elections: Declaration by Pierre Laurent

The results of the French legislative elections, if the first-round trend continues for the second round next Sunday, will place the future of the country in extremely difficult circumstances, under the threat of a National Assembly dominated by members from En Marche! and their supporters from the Républicains. This result would plunge millions of our fellow citizens into a democratic “hangover”.

It is necessary to mobilise for the second round to prevent this institutional assault on political pluralism in our country, and to resist the low blows that Emmanuel Macron’s government is planning to deliver.

The new record for voter abstention is alarming for our democracy. This is Emmanuel Macron’s first failure. It is the consequence of the increasing “presidentialisation” of our politics; with every passing five-year presidential term, the National Assembly elections seem to be devalued. This is also a failure for all those who push for this inflated presidency, building up a system of political representation that a majority of citizens find it more and more difficult to relate to.

We demand that Emmanuel Macron and the government immediately, and without waiting for second-round results, open the debate on changing our institutions: a proportional voting system for all elections, which is the only way to truly reflect the political diversity of the country; a new election calendar, to give legislative elections and the Parliament their full legitimacy and importance in the democratic life of our country.

The record high level of abstention is also the sign of a strong sense of defiance towards the new president of the Republic, contrary to the media frenzy that surrounds every word and gesture of Emmanuel Macron: only 24% of voters supported him in the first round of the presidential elections and he was elected thanks only to the mobilisation of a large majority of women and men who wanted to block Marine Le Pen. The legislative elections do not provide any extra boost. Abstention and division among his adversaries, especially on the left, have made his party’s candidates appear more significant than they are.

Indeed, the division of forces on left comes at a heavy cost. The forces that supported Jean-Luc Mélenchon found themselves in competition because of decisions made by the leaders of la France insoumise. All of these forces are suffering the consequences at the ballot box. This is the case for the Communist Party, with a very low national score.

The left has been severely weakened and even eliminated in many districts. We regret this outcome, which we deployed all of our efforts to avoid.

Tonight, the most urgent task is to mobilise voters for the challenge of the second round, where candidates of the left will face off against Macron’s candidates, Républicains and National Front candidates; we must elect the candidates of the left who are still in the running.

En Marche ! candidates, as well as socialists calling themselves “presidential majority”, defend the president’s programme of economic liberalism. Candidates from the Républicains are not members of the oppositions, because their goal is to push liberal ideology as far as possible. None of these candidates are for us.

We will continue to block National Front candidates wherever it is necessary, because we want to prevent their ideas of hatred, racism and exclusion from spreading.

In every district where they are still in the running, we want to elect Communist and Left Front candidates next Sunday, as well as other forces who are willing to fight together to stop the destruction of the Labour Code by executive order, to stop the increase of the CSG tax (social security surcharge), to refuse the drastic reduction in the number of civil servants and the attack on public services, as well as the reduction in means for local authorities, the restriction of public freedom, and the growing number of policies that support the world of finance.

Candidates from the left are eligible in the second round in Metropolitan France and the Overseas Territories, and could win in dozens of districts; some of them are from the Communist Party. Tonight they are the candidates to be backed by all the forces on the left.

The second round of legislative elections must not dig a deeper hole for democracy. Voters on the left must mobilise, because massive abstention will allow la République En Marche to obtain an absolute, monolithic majority, leaving the Assembly a free hand to put its capitalistic, liberal policies into effect as of the summer..

Communist and Left Front Members of Parliament who may be elected next Sunday will form a solid basis for a parliamentary group and a promise of hope for rebuilding the future and the left; these are women and men whom you know, whose engagement in your defence is clear, who are ready to determine a new path forward for our society, uniting our forces. You can count on them during the upcoming mandate, fighting at the grass roots level as well as in the Assembly.

Our activists and our national leaders met together on Monday night to assess the situation  in each district after the first round and to choose the best candidates with regard to the situation in each voting district.

After the second round, the Communist Party will take the necessary steps to analyse the recent period, evaluate the situation and make decisions that will address the considerable problems facing our party and all of the forces on the left. Clearly, from our point of view, there is much to be taken under consideration with party members. A National Council will be held next 23-24 June.

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