Thursday, May 5, 2011

Besancenot Will Not Run

Olivier Besancenot ne se présentera pas à l'élection présidentielle

Le porte-parole du Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) a annoncé, mercredi 4 mai, qu'il renonçait à se présenter en 2012, préférant "laisser le relais à un camarade". Il a été candidat en 2002 et 2007.

Interesting: not so long ago, Besancenot was the face of left-populist rejection of the "governmental left." Now he's withdrawing. Has Mélenchon sucked the air out of this space? Is this a product of internal divisions in the perennially fissiparous Trotskyist rump? Or is it just one of those things--personal fatigue, perhaps, of the sort that sometimes overtakes even the most militant?

1 comment:

brent said...

Besancenot's own declaration suggests not personal exhaustion but frustration at the way politics and political media inevitably personalize what he prefers to think of as a social movement. Elections for the NPA were never the point--they were seen as a potentially useful organizing tool, but the assumption has always been that any real transfer of power will not come from the electoral system. On that point OB's differences with Mélenchon in their recent debate (visitable at turned on the contrast of 'top-down' change vs. change from 'below.' NPA members who wanted a more unitaire approach with the PG, PCF, and other electoral parties, who topped out at about 27% and thus lost the deeply divided vote on strategic principles at the NPA congress, should have found their way to Mélenchon by now, as the NPA's identity as a resolutely extra-governmental party is pretty well fixed,regardless of who its spokesperson may be.