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Change will come through a pact for a new majority of the left

Millions among you are ready to the turn the page on a political system that has been reduced to impotence and eroded by the powers of finance. Millions among you are angry at policies that are hard on the weakest and easy on the most powerful; angry at discrimination of all kinds; angry at a financial system that destroys everything in our country, from employment to the most precious human relationships.

You want to be able to intervene and decide on matters that concern you in your daily life and at work. A victory for the right or the far right in the 2017 elections would thrust our nation into greater poverty, inequality and division. Marine Le Pen would drag France down by following the path of the sinister Donald Trump. François Fillon wants to eliminate our national health service and indeed all public services. Emmanuel Macron wants to promote the free-market “Uberisation” of every aspect of life and work. We do not want such a dark future to befall our country.

In the aim of avoiding this disaster, the Communist Party strives for a victory of the left in the presidential and legislative elections next May and June: the left that will re-establish major policies for justice, equality and peace. The left that will engage an effective programme to combat unemployment, inequality and poverty; make our lives more secure; provide new rights to salaried workers and citizens.

We reject the leadership of the past five years that turned a deaf ear to the people’s needs while following the siren song of liberal market forces. The left we want is the left that fought against the new Labour Law, against the draft law on deprivation of nationality, that fights for the preservation of public services, the left that can open up a new path forward for our youth.

A few months ago, this seemed out of reach. Today, we believe that it is possible to have a candidate in the second round of presidential elections who will support these values; we can realistically envision a majority of the left and the greens. This is why we have been fighting for the past year; we have not presented a candidate from our own party for the presidential elections in order to make this outcome possible. To this end, we are supporting Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose programme is closest to our own.

At the heart of everything, there must be a majority pact, clear and unambiguous, that establishes the means for change.

This is why we are appealing to all candidates and forces of the left to deepen their discussions until we can reach an agreement on a pact for a majority government in France.

In May, we seek to elect a president from the left, in June a majority of MPs from the left to the National Assembly: thus we can implement policies that break with austerity. We must elect more MPs from the Communist Party and the Left Front than in 2012. Above all, we must remain mobilised and vigilant before, during and after the elections, as at the time of the Popular Front, to rein in big business, the right and the far right.

The Communist Party puts forward the following items for the pact:

► a 6th Republic to end the presidential regime, in particular with the proportional voting method for all elections; definition of the legal status of representatives; new rights for salaried employees in companies; the right to vote for foreigners residing in France; a record system to monitor ethnic profiling in police actions; the right to abortion guaranteed by the constitution.

► a programme for renewed social progress including repeal of the so-called El Khomri labour law and its replacement with a law on job security and training; an increase in salaries, minimum social benefits and pensions; reduction of the hours in the work week; retirement at age 60; new targets for national health insurance, including a progressive return to 100% coverage for all care.

► a global action plan for autonomy and emancipation of youth in all areas: early childhood, education, culture, sports, health, housing, and employment.

► creation of a genuine ministry to oversee issues of equality between men and women and to enforce binding measures on equal pay and equal opportunity.

► the fight against all forms of discrimination, whether linked to ethnic origin, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, state of health or disability.

► the fight against finance with an action plan against tax evasion; a world conference on taxation; the creation of a public banking entity to change the lending environment, including the nationalisation of BNP-Paribas and the Société générale.

► a battle plan for France in Europe with the review of the European budget treaty and an investment plan funded by the ECB. In France, these funds would be used to combat exclusion and poverty, undertake massive investment in pubic service, housing for all and support of local administrations.

► a coherent plan for the renewal of industry, creating a million jobs in all sectors that are useful to human development, based on significant research and development investments; the environmental transition with a mix of renewable and nuclear energies under public monitoring; development of a new model for agriculture.

We put these ideas forward to invite all candidates and all forces of the left to a debate. The French Communist Party seeks to meet with those who would advance this discussion.

At the same time, we call on all of you, without waiting until voting day, to multiply social struggles, public meetings, debates on social media, and to create a vast citizens’ forum, to express in every way possible this demand for union and commitment centred on a pact that will truly bring about a change in all our lives.

We are opening our next national meeting to all forces of the left, 28 February at la Bellevilloise in Paris, on the theme: “Finance is still the enemy”.

We call for a major meeting and public debate on a pact for a left majority without delay, with candidates and their supporters. Many citizens are hoping for such a forum. We declare ourselves ready to participate.

As the required sponsorships for presidential candidates are being filed with the authorities, it is time to move forward speedily. We also appeal to all citizens to take an interest in the legislative elections as of today. We must mobilise everywhere. Members of the Communist Party and our candidates for office call for unity to bring about the changes that reflect the people’s aspirations.

French Communist Party

Paris, 21 February 2017.

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