The lack of internal democracy threatens once again to throw La France insoumise (LFI) into crisis, as Manuel Bompard, close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, prepares to take over the leadership of the movement, whose composition has been revealed on Saturday 10 December without i.a. several of the party figures. “We are in a development process. I understand that it can question and disrupt habits”declared Mr. Bompard during a press conference organized in Paris at the end of the “representative assembly” of 160 leaders and members.
The one who will only be officially appointed head of the new coordination in the coming days, together with other members of this leadership appointed for a year, tried to extinguish the anger of the dismissed officials. Deputies Alexis Corbière, Clémentine Autain, François Ruffin or Eric Coquerel were not invited to the event.
“Closing and locking”
“We love innovation”said Member of Parliament Gabriel Amard, pointing that out “more than 50%” of the 21 members of the management were new. A door is open to discontent: “The work continues, between now and the next representative assembly in June; The parliamentary group will have to work on the rules for its representation” in management, he added.
At a time when the other parties in the left-wing alliance New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) are organizing congresses and votes, Manuel Bompard says that he still prefers “consensus” rather than choices to avoid “the confrontation between a majority and minorities”.
“While the moment calls for cohesion and openness for LFI, the management chooses closure and locking”Clémentine Autain told Agence France-Presse on Saturday:
Spearheading the Nupes, our movement has a historic responsibility, especially in the race against the far right, but the message being sent is likely to weaken the rally.
If, according to Eric Coquerel, the appointment of Manuel Bompard is “natural, because he knows how to organize himself very well”stated the chairman of the economic committee in the national assembly also on Friday “discover” this appointment. In a general way, “it would be desirable that the whole nuance of the movement was represented in the direction”implored the elected representative of Seine-Saint-Denis.
Alongside this limited operational leadership, a political council will be established, a place for debate on strategy, made up of elected officials, personalities and “insurgent” leaders. This body without a leader and with an advisory function was not planned until very recently, testified several deputies who learned of its existence this week.
These unrests are clouding the reforms that are due “change the nature of the movement”according to the next manager: creation of departmental loops so that local action groups – hitherto self-sufficient – communicate with each other; “voluntary contributions” that activists will be able to hand themselves over to local or national expenditure items, the purchase of premises in rural and peri-urban areas in an attempt to compete there with the National Rally, the creation of a school for leaders…
“Everything is going in the right direction” to anchor and diversify the movement, Eric Coquerel believes, although he does not say that he is opposed to future internal elections, because “People want to express their opinion”. “LFI was created [en 2016] for election campaigns, now that we have seventy-five deputies and are the first force on the left, we must give it a lasting framework.”sums up the former leader of Venstre.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, he spoke in the morning before the representative assembly to confirm that, together with deputy Clémence Guetté, he would lead the La Boétie Institute, a “rebellious” think tank. The former presidential candidate also integrates the coordination of the movement.