Sunday, June 03, 2007

Politics: France: UMP under Sarkozy set to win increased representation in parliamentary elections

Javno carries a Reuters story about France's upcoming parliamentary elections, Sarkozy UMP Extends Lead -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP political party could win up to 460 seats in parliamentary elections to be held later this month (Jun2,2k7):

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP political party could win up to 460 seats in parliamentary elections to be held later this month, four times as many as the opposition Socialists, according to a poll on Saturday. The IFOP poll for Sunday's Journal du Dimanche newspaper put support for the UMP and Socialists steady at 41 percent and 27 percent respectively, but movement in support for other parties meant Sarkozy's UMP was forecast to win more seats than before.

France's parliamentary elections are due to be held over two rounds on June 10 and 17. A big win for the UMP would cement Sarkozy's grip on power after he was elected president on May 6.

The survey projected the UMP could win 420 to 460 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly compared with a projected 410 to 450 in IFOP's previous survey and 359 currently.

The Socialists were seen winning 80 to 120 seats compared with a previously forecast 90 to 130 and down from 149 now.
The Socialists are having their own fierce internicene battle, with some of their candidates standing firm for orthodox Socialism-by-peaceful-means and others seeking seats on the basis of a turn of the Party to social democracy which accepts capitalism but seeks to control it and promotes a a strongly welfarist-capitalism under a social-democratic government and an all-powerful all-responsible state (little sphere sovereignty or sphere-responsiblity for other societal spheres), as in many other European countries. In France, one could well imagine that in due time the present SP will split in two (SP vs. SDP).
The main loser in the poll was Francois Bayrou's new centre-right Democratic Movement, with support falling to 9 percent from 12 percent.
Europe > France
Bayrou's party said it would distribute thousands of orange flowers in Paris on Sunday -- Mothers' Day in France -- in an effort to drum up support.
Another story, this time from a marginal Trotskyite websource Indymedia Bay Area offers a telltale report, in its own desultory way, on Sarkozy's deft navigation among the splintered vote-pools of the French political panorma, "France: Guy Môquet, Sarkozy and the Stalinist school of falsification" (Jun2,2k7):
"After his official installation as French president May 16, Nicolas Sarkozy’s first engagement was a memorial ceremony to fallen Resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War.

Sarkozy used the event to issue his first presidential decree: the obligatory annual public reading in schools of Guy Môquet’s letter to his family shortly before his execution by a Nazi firing squad on October 22, 1941. Sarkozy intends this to serve as an example of “heroism” and “sacrifice” for the “nation.” The 17-year-old Môquet was a member of the Young Communists.

The visit to the memorial ceremony and his proclamation about the letter brings to light an important historical episode that reveals the counter-revolutionary essence of French Stalinism.
The latter expression is Trot-speak for France's Communist Party which at one time commanded 20% of the vote, while in the last election the orthodox Communists garnered 1.6%. However, together with the half-a-dozen other small ultraleft parties that have picked up refugees from the Commies, the total of the whole farleft wing is about 10%--who largely voted against Sarkozy in favour of the mainstream Socialists.
The initial indignation of French Communist Party (PCF) leader Marie-George Buffet at Sarkozy’s cynical use of Môquet’s death to promote nationalism during his election campaign was short-lived. “The reading of Guy Môquet’s last letter before his execution is a strong message,” she declared, after Sarkozy had pronounced his presidential decree, “because this young man was a patriot through his engagement in the Resistance, but also because his combat for the emancipation of humanity had a goal, that of constructing a Republic of rights and liberties in a democracy.”

Buffet’s servile falling into line with Sarkozy reinforces the latter’s attempts to present himself as president of “all the French.”
With such gestures, Sarkozy seems intent on chipping away at his opposition to win more seats in the Parliament than even Jacques Chirac could muster. For his interim cabinet, Sarkozy has named at least one Socialist to an important ministerial portfolio.

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