Disagreements over how to handle the Israeli-Palestinian dispute almost tore apart the left-wing coalition in France.
Socialist Party (PS) members decided shortly to “suspend” their party’s membership in the NUPES coalition with the far-left L’Union for a Popular Front (LFI), Green Party, and Communist Party.
After previous presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon and his closest supporters declined to label Hamas’ horrific assault on Israel on October 7 as a “terrorist act,” the LFI board accused LFI of “incessantly fanning discord” inside the alliance.
L’Instinctif Socialiste (LFI) is the biggest left-wing movement in France’s 577-seat parliament, with 74 MPs, but its hard-charging approach to absolute opposition to Macron and often contentious stunts and statements has frequently left its backers biting their teeth.
Melenchon claimed on X that Socialist Party leader Olivier Faure “is splitting up NUPES” over “a personal dispute with me concerning Israel (and) Palestine.” The post subsequently disappeared. Melenchon had been an anchor of unity, but now he has become a barrier, Faure had told Socialist leaders, prompting the need for fundamental reform.
A former presidential candidate for the Green Party, Yannick Jadot, has declared that relations with LFI must be stopped as long as they haven’t firmly explained their essential ideas.
After LFI politician Daniele Obono referred to Hamas as a “resistance” movement, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned that she should face a judicial inquiry on suspicion of supporting terrorism.
Macron was re-elected as president but was unable to win a parliamentary majority, therefore last year the NUPES party was founded. But disagreements soon surfaced, particularly when a close Melenchon follower admitted to domestic abuse, as well as over the plan to resist the administration’s widely-resented retirement changes, the conflict in Ukraine, and the riots this summer. As a result, the Communist Party voted on a resolution declaring that NUPES had reached a “impasse” and urging the formation of a “new kind of union” on the left.
Some members of the PS and Greens have argued to maintain the alliance, using LFI’s line that the Left can’t win unless it works together.