In the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure under pressure for 2022

Olivier Faure during the PS summer school in Blois, August 29, 2020. – ISA HARSIN / SIPA

  • On the left, the Greens and the rebels have already laid the groundwork for their presidential campaign. The former will organize a primary in the summer of 2021, the latter have launched the candidacy of their boss Jean-Luc Mélenchon with a citizen sponsorship campaign.
  • Under pressure in the face of multiple positions taken in his camp, the first secretary of the PS Olivier Faure advocates the rally on the left. He also postponed the congress scheduled for December, because of the health context.
  • In the socialist ranks, some are getting impatient and want to launch the PS campaign, but the boss is procrastinating.

The rose party takes its time. While on the left, the Greens and the rebels have already set their roadmap for the 2022 presidential election, the Socialist Party is procrastinating. Will he organize an open primary,
registered in its statutes, as in 2017? Will he maintain his strategy of rallying on the left, and with whom? At this stage, nothing has yet been done, and some socialists are getting impatient and angry with the leadership of Olivier Faure. The first secretary of the PS is due to make announcements on Tuesday, November 24, at a national party council.

Ambitions in starting-blocks

On the left, however, some formations are already rolling out their roadmap. The Greens have scheduled their primary for the summer of 2021. On the rebellious side, Jean-Luc Mélenchon launched his candidacy with a citizen sponsorship campaign. But among the Socialists, no timetable has yet been set, and the congress scheduled for December
has been postponed indefinitely, health context requires. At the same time, initiatives or positions are multiplying on the left, increasing the pressure on the first secretary of the party.

François Hollande regularly criticizes, hollow, the strategy of union of the left advocated by Olivier Faure. In an interview with
Parisian on November 13, the former socialist president even indicated that he wanted to “work on the construction of a new political force”. This Tuesday, the former presidential candidate Benoît Hamon, guest of
RTL, considered a single candidacy behind rebellious France. The former number 1 of the PS, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, does not
“Does not feel offside for 2022” and is organizing a new press conference this Thursday, at the head of its network created in September, Nouvelle Société. Meanwhile, the former minister of productive recovery Arnaud Montebourg continues his tour of signings and TV shows for the promotion of his latest book.

A delay in ignition?

Ambitions therefore seem fueled by the prospect of 2022. But at the party headquarters, the preparation of the campaign has not officially started. “All the other parties are not ready, but they have at least advanced, not us”, worries Philippe Doucet, member of the national council, who supports Hélène Geoffroy to take the head of the party against Olivier Faure. At management, we assure that Olivier Faure will clarify things very soon, during a meeting of the National Council on November 24. “The party line and its road map will be presented,” warns those around him.

For Julien Dray, procrastinating is not necessarily a handicap in the race for the Elysée. Especially since the question of the candidacy is far from being settled. “I think we must leave a little time on the question of the primary, and not tie our hands with a designation formula”, says the regional councilor of Ile-de-France, member of the national office party. “There will be no nomination procedure, but rather a candidate who is naturally imposed”, leans another member of the national council. “A party cannot function like that, it needs a procedure,” breathes Philippe Doucet. “Let’s imagine that Anne Hidalgo does not want to start, how would we do? He wonders, quoting the mayor of Paris, one of the socialist presidential candidates.

First build a presidential project

As for the strategy to build the union on the left, it is also under debate. Most of the socialist executives interviewed by 20 Minutes believe that an alliance with the Greens is preferable, like Olivier Faure. But they rule out the possibility that the PS fades behind a green candidate and blame a delay in building a presidential program. “In public opinion, the PS must be identified with a project, with proposals. It is on this basis that we can then dialogue with other formations, ”emphasizes Julien Dray.

On this point, the PS will lay the groundwork from December, by organizing a (virtual) meeting devoted to secularism and separatism. An opportunity For Olivier Faure to formulate the doctrine of the PS and counter-proposals to the government bill which will be presented to the Council of Ministers on December 9. By seizing on these sovereign subjects, the PS also wishes to stand out from the Greens and the Rebel. “The ecologists are not credible on these subjects”, tackles a member of the national council.

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