July 1, 2022

The popular Primary claims 467,000 registered voters able to vote in its ballot

They will finally be 467,000 to be able to designate whoever must rally the left to hope to win the presidential election. The organizers of the Popular Primary claimed, Monday, January 24 shortly after midnight, this final figure for the number of registered voters able to vote in the ballot which will be held online from Thursday January 27 to Sunday January 30 to designate, among seven personalities on the left , the one that will be invested by the movement.

“Our initial goal was to outnumber the Republican primary (140,000). We are surprised by this number. It shows a craze for left-wing voters and ecology ”, underlined one of the organizers of the primary, Mathilde Imer. “It is the biggest process of deciding between candidates in France, it cannot be ignored. »

Those who wanted to had until Sunday evening to register for the Popular Primary, a citizens’ initiative aimed at deciding between left-wing candidates, but which is not unanimous: the “rebellious” candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, l ecologist Yannick Jadot and socialist Anne Hidalgo refusing to recognize the result of this election. Sunday at midday, the movement announced that 404,000 people were already registered to vote in this ballot by “majority judgment”. In this single-round election mode, voters assign an evaluation to each of the candidates and the holder of the best median evaluation wins.

The left currently has five main presidential candidates (Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot, Anne Hidalgo, the communist Fabien Roussel and the former justice minister Christiane Taubira), with none competing in the polls less than three months before the presidential election, with President Emmanuel Macron – not yet an official candidate – Valérie Pécresse, the candidate of the Republicans, or even the two competitors on the far right Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour.

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The number of people registered to vote has risen sharply in recent days, allowing this initiative to claim to be far superior to the environmentalist primary in September (122,000) and the Republican Congress in early December (nearly 140,000 members), but which remains lower than the primary of the left in 2017 (2 million) or that of the right and the center which had seen François Fillon triumph (4.4 million).

Growing pressure

However, three of the seven candidates refused in advance to recognize the result of the vote. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo have each asked that their names be removed from the list of candidates, in particular after the broadcast of a video dating from the beginning of November, in which one of the officials of the initiative, Samuel Grzybowski, claims to put pressure on them, blocking their sponsorship or making “lower their popularity rating” on social networks. The person concerned explained this to the World, regretting “this tone and this non-diplomatic way of presenting our strategy”, but also recalling that at the time “no candidate” did not respond to requests from the popular Primary.

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“We are not your enemies”, explained the organizers of the popular Primary in a column published Friday by L’Obs. “Yes, we want the victory of ecology and social justice. Yes, we wish your victory”, they wrote, assuring that “It’s not for pleasure that we come to have to put pressure on you. Let’s be honest: if we hadn’t, would you have even for a moment paid attention to our call? », they say.

Thursday, January 20, a hundred personalities from the world of culture, including actress Juliette Binoche, actors Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Charles Berling and Jean-Marc Barr, called on left-wing parties to join the Popular Primary, in a column published on the magazine’s website Les Inrockuptibles. “To lose five more years would be insane”, they lamented.

Seven competitors remain on the starting line of the Popular Primary, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo, despite their refusal to participate. MEP Pierre Larrouturou, Rennes public health expert Charlotte Marchandise and climate activist Anna Agueb-Porterie, meanwhile, said they would abide by the results. The former Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, candidate supported by the Radical Left Party, defended, on Tuesday January 18, on France Inter her participation in this consultation, while refraining from committing to join the winner of the popular Primary if it fails to convince.

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The World with AFP