Did he smell a trap? The rebellious François Ruffin refused to declare himself and kept his distance Thursday from Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who pushed him with a tweet to rush towards the presidential election of 2027.
Thank you, but no thank you: this is essentially the message that François Ruffin passed on Thursday on franceinfo, when he was asked about the word of his former group leader in the Assembly.
"I say thank you, it's all nice, it's nice, but it's not the time", explained the deputy of the Somme, believing that the main thing was to "team up" with the socialists, communists and environmentalists.
"I hope to be there", still took care to specify the 47-year-old elected official.
For several months, speculation has been rife, on the left, on the true intentions for 2027 of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, already a candidate three times. The person himself said in January that he did not wish to run again and that he would be happy to step down.
"Francois is ready. Forward!" His tweet on Wednesday, which commented on a poll placing the two men in a favorable position, had a scent of dubbing.
But François Ruffin would take the risk, by accepting it, of giving the impression of following in the footsteps of a figure who certainly initiated the left-wing Nupes coalition, but who is debating with his divisive style.
Through their respective reactions, "each is in his space, that of Mélenchon, who wants to show that he remains master of the clocks in his rebellious house, and that of Ruffin who cannot play on any other ground" than at the confluence of the left, analyzes Pierre Lefébure, lecturer at the Sorbonne-Paris Nord University and specialist in political communication.
Especially since the elected Picard is part of the small group of rebellious "slingers" who regret not having been integrated into the management of LFI in December, and criticize a blocking of the movement by the mélenchonistes.
Among these slingers, the deputy Raquel Garrido, welcomes to AFP "the mark of common sense" brought by Jean-Luc Mélenchon in his tweet. "But you have to go to the end of the reasoning and admit that if François is ready to be president, then he is necessarily legitimate to be at the head of the movement", she underlines.
For the ecologist deputy Aurélien Taché too, any overture from the rebellious leader is good to take. "Jean-Luc Mélenchon counts in this affair, he was closest to the second round. Not sitting on the intergroup of Nupes, he expresses himself by Twitter", notes the elected representative of Val-d'Oise.
And the idea seems good to him: "François Ruffin is one of those who embody something and are available, as they say ... If he gets as many people as possible in agreement, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, let's go !"
But while François Ruffin is rather popular among the partners within the Nupes, he must paradoxically still impose himself among the rebellious. "I don't know if I support Ruffin, I like him, he's human, he's a deputy-reporter ok, but a president-reporter, I don't know", confides a rebellious leading deputy.
"None of the replacements is at the level of the one who aspires to be replaced", creaked another deputy in mid-February. According to this guardian of the Mélenchonist temple, the attitude of the leader, "best candidate for 2027", must be understood by "his fear that the movement will be destroyed by quarrels" and the importance of giving guarantees of openness.
Because the "quarrels" are not lacking. By his tweet, Jean-Luc Mélenchon may have wanted to open a new sequence after the Adrien Quatennens affair, from which his political family has still not managed to extricate himself.
The malaise is indeed palpable behind the silence of François Ruffin, Alexis Corbière, Clémentine Autain and feminist deputies who refused to comment on the decision to reinstate the deputy convicted of domestic violence on Tuesday.
With Jean-Luc Mélenchon, there is therefore "a deflecting side, after the return of the prodigal son Adrien Quatennens, a way of saying: Do not attribute bad intentions to me", analyzes political scientist Pierre Lefébure.
04/13/2023 14:48:45 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP