In the Socialist Party, opponents of Olivier Faure want to be heard

Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party, during the meeting closing the Campus of the PS, in Blois, on August 29, 2022.

This weekend, Olivier Faure will be the guest of honor at the 50e edition of the Rose Festival in Frangy-en-Bresse (Saône-et-Loire), this annual back-to-school meeting of the Socialist Party (PS). After a “republican” meal, the first secretary of the PS will be able to test his popularity with the militants. A welcome country outing, while around him, a little unpleasant music is heard.

On September 3, Bernard Cazeneuve set the tone of the hostilities by publishing in the Sunday newspaper a manifest for "a social-democratic, republican, humanist and ecological left". In about ten days, this text, which denounces “the void left by social democracy and left-wing humanists”would have gone from 400 to 4,000 signatories.

The former prime minister of François Hollande claims to have started to think about this initiative " with friends " after the last presidential election. "They told me: 'Do something'", details Bernard Cazeneuve, who still does not digest the alliance made by the PS at the time of the legislative elections with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, within the framework of the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes). He shoots the line embodied by Olivier Faure, whom he accuses of being "subjugated" to La France insoumise (LFI). “Does the PS consider that the police kill? Why don't they express disagreements clearly? » he asks himself, four months after having slammed the door of the party with the rose.

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This manifesto, which comes after initiatives led against Olivier Faure by other former socialist “elephants”, such as Stéphane Le Foll or Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, comes at a time that is anything but trivial for the PS. In four months, its congress will have to appoint its new first secretary; a major challenge for the current incumbent, who won the last battle hands down, in Villeurbanne (Rhône) in 2021.

Internal discontent

While defending his desire to rebuild a union of the left, but not with LFI, Bernard Cazeneuve is careful not to say what follow-up he wishes to give to his text. Does he foreshadow a new party? Does he reveal electoral ambitions? “I have no personal stake”he sweeps, affirming “hate device tricks”.

According to several relatives, everything will depend on the results of the congress. If Olivier Faure is reappointed, the former prime minister will try an adventure outside the PS. If the former Secretary of State for the city Hélène Geoffroy, who represents the opponents of the current socialist leadership, wins, Mr. Cazeneuve will work within it.

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