Olivier Faure comes down the steps, all smiles, to a standing ovation, to close the 80th congress of the Socialist Party, Sunday January 29 in Marseille. At the bottom of the auditorium stairs, the first secretary of the Socialist Party kisses his former opponent Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, the mayor of Rouen who, until the end, did not recognize the internal results. Despite everything, the peace of the brave could be concluded.
Under the terms of this “collective governance pact”, Olivier Faure will be assisted not only by his ally Johanna Rolland, mayor of Nantes, but also by Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, whose motion came second on January 12.
The party therefore saved its unity. “We have chosen to do together, rather than do against each other”, launches from the podium the one who has been leading a PS since 2018 weakened by the double competition of Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc Mélenchon. And, after an hour of speech, Olivier Faure celebrates the “promise of Marseille”, when some feared that this city was the place of the burial of the old socialist house.
The averted split
On Friday and Saturday, the whistles and boos heard in the plenary session nevertheless testified that between comrades, nothing was won in advance. But the main thing was played out elsewhere, in spaces with access monitored by the security service. There, away from prying eyes and ears, the party’s new baby elephants negotiated bitterly. Proposals, counter-proposals, SMS at four o’clock in the morning which calls everything into question… Finally, the “gathering of socialists” is presented on Saturday afternoon and then adopted, by a show of hands, almost unanimously by the delegates.
This pact makes it possible to avoid a split, but does not settle the question of the union of a left now dominated by La France insoumise. In fact, the New Popular Ecologist and Social Union (Nupes) does not even appear in the text. In his closing speech, Olivier Faure however defended his existence at length.
“With the Nupes, for the first time in five years the French have been able to situate us with certainty: we have affirmed our unwavering belonging to the left”, launched the first secretary, dreaming that the PS will once again become, one day, the “force driving force” of his electoral bloc. Insisting: “This is the lesson of François Mitterrand: first we gather our camp, and then we gather the French. »
La Nupes still at the heart of discord
Be that as it may, if the Nupes debate could be postponed, it is undoubtedly because the question does not really arise for the next electoral deadline, the European election of 2024. The PS can indeed hardly reconcile, on the one hand, a common program dominated by LFI, on the other, its membership of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. Holding an anti-liberal discourse in the opposition that is out of step with one’s own government practice is more difficult in front of one’s European partners, some of whom are responsible in their country or within the European Commission, than in front of activists alone.
Still, not all the sensitivities of the PS are involved in the new direction. “This congress must not hide our strategic differences, it is for this reason that I do not integrate the national direction”, thus confirmed at the podium Hélène Geoffroy, whose motion openly hostile to the Nupes had come in third position. . The mayor of Vaulx-en-Velin nevertheless agrees to chair the national council of the party, “in order to preserve unity and allow the rally”.
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