DiEM25 critically backs Macron against Le Pen in French election second round

An all-member vote on the run-in between Macron and Le Pen sees DiEM25 members opt for doing everything to prevent the far-right from gaining power

[Lisez ce communiqué en français ici]

Following an all-member vote regarding the second round of the French presidential elections, DiEM25 supports Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen, while remaining vehemently opposed to the current French leader and his policies.

Five years have passed and, once again, the people of France are faced with an all-too-familiar scenario, as they are left to choose between the far-right rhetoric of Le Pen and the establishment politics of Macron.

Some had been lured by Macron’s freshness last time around, believing that his ambitions of European integration would bear some progressive fruit. Soon after his election, however, it became clear that his promises were nothing but a communication tool.

The French president’s failed promises, neoliberal economics and anti-social policies means there are now no illusions that Macron will substantially represent any sort of progressivism. However, that does not warrant the election of an authoritarian, racist leader instead. 

Voting for Macron while opposing him

Last time Le Pen and Macron faced each other in the second round of the French presidential elections, members of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective had cautiously but determinedly urged progressives in France to vote for Macron to keep Le Pen from office, only to campaign against him the very next day of the election. 

And that is now the same position DiEM25 members find themselves in, preferring to support Macron against Le Pen, but continue to oppose him and his policies. 

Same stance as 2017

It is a similar position that we held in the 2017 elections, insisting on the fact that ‘backing’ Macron does not mean we are agreeing with his policies. 

DiEM25 co-founder Yanis Varoufakis penned a column for Le Monde five years ago, stating that defeating Le Pen is the main priority while still remaining vigilant against Macron’s real political agenda. 

“I shall mobilise fully to help you beat Le Pen with the same strength that I shall be joining the next Nuit Debout to oppose your government when, and if, you, as President, attempt to continue with your dead-end, already-failed neoliberalism.”

The current state of affairs in France is anything but encouraging, yet keeping out a candidate that is directly opposed to what we stand for in favour of the lesser of two evils is something that we can agree on, for now.

Breaking the mould

As Europe and the world is continuously presented with such dilemmas, and having seen the Le Pen-like policies adopted by Macron’s government on immigration and the brutal suppression of demonstrators in his current term, we are all too aware that those who claim to protect society from authoritarianism are becoming increasingly like those they pretend to oppose. Never before has DiEM25 been more necessary, and we urge progressives in France to join us in building a left-wing movement that is as transnational as Macron’s neoliberal Establishment and Le Pen’s populist xenophobia. Only then can they be defeated.

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