Three of the main Jewish organizations in France have called on voters to shun extremist parties in Sunday’s regional elections which are seen as a political test one year before the presidential election.
Crif, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions, the Central Consistory and the United Jewish Welfare Fund (Fonds Social Juif Unifié) called on voters to mobilize to vote massively in the two rounds on June 20 and 27 and to block extremist parties ‘’that put the Republic in danger.’’
”The political solutions to the problems faced by the French people cannot be found in rejection and in rejection and exclusion, nor in clientelistic complacency, but in the principles of a united and solidary Republic,’’ they stated.
Jewish institutions are particularly concerned about the risk of seeing the extreme right Rassemblement National (National Rally) party, led by Marine Le Pen, win one or more regions (especially in areas of southern and eastern France) as they called for the broadest possible mobilization to avoid a victory of a party ‘’whose values damage the republican pact.’’
The three Jewish institutions also called on voters to shun the extreme left La France Insoumise (Insubordinate France) party led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “Jewish institutions also call on voters not to bring votes to La France insoumise, whose guilty complacency also weakens the Republic,” they wrote, in a reference to the party’s tolerance for the worst drifts of the left, its rallies alongside notorious islamists and conspiracy comments.
The regional elections were supposed to take place in March this year – but have been twice delayed because of Covid-19.
In total, 18 regional presidencies are at stake – 13 in metropolitan France and Corsica, and five more in overseas territories, including the assemblies of French Guiana and Martinique, and the departmental council of Mayotte.
A poll published earlier this month showed President Macron at 50 percent approval – an increase of seven percentage points in a month, helped, no doubt, by falling Covid cases and the easing of health restrictions.
At the extremes, extreme-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s popularity has plummeted some 40 points since a high in April 2017. Positive opinion of him now stands at 28 percent, according to the poll, while Marine Le Pen’s overall popularity is not much better.