Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s far-left France Unbowed (La France Insoumise or LFI) party, which came in third in the first round of the 2022 presidential election, has had 17 MPs in the National Assembly since the 2017 legislative elections. They quickly gained notice not only for their ability to create a buzz, but also for blocking certain government texts.
On May 10, 2022, France’s Greens, Communist Party and Socialist Party all agreed to form a historic alliance with the far-left France Unbowed (La France Insoumise or LFI), ahead of the June legislative elections in hopes of securing a lower-house majority. Despite its small number of members currently, LFI has been very active in the National Assembly over the past five years. It has passed 100 or so bills and more than 60 motions for resolutions, tabled more than 60,000 amendments, established four commissions of enquiry and intervened thousands of times in parliament.
In June 2017, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who had been a senator in Essonne for 18 years, was the only one of the 17 LFI MPs who knew how parliament worked. In fact, his colleagues were mocked during the first few months of their terms for their lack of experience. In addition to the fact that she had been a nurse’s aide prior to being elected, some of Caroline Fiat’s opponents nicknamed her « the deputy Bac -2 », referring to her educational trainng, while Adrien Quatennens, who had previously been a customer advisor for EDF (Électricité de France S.A., a French multinational electric utility company), was given the nickname of « Deputy Call-center ».
However, the mockery quickly ceased when it became apparent that the LFI MPs were serious about positioning themselves as the opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s presidential majority during his five-year term.
« The LFI MPs have really been very active, very present and very invested in their roles, both in the committee and the Assembly, doing serious groundwork, » said Olivier Rozenberg, a professor at Sciences-Po and specialist in parliamentary life.
« Our goal was simple: to be the first opponent and the first proposer », says Mathilde Panot, MP for Val-de-Marne and president of the LFI parliamentary group in the National Assembly. « We wanted to fight the government both by bringing the country’s various social struggles into the National Assembly while making sure, each time, to propose another vision by co
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