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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: https://www.humanite.fr/gauche-pour...

For itsupcoming 38th convention, the PCF puts all options on the table

Translated Thursday 14 June 2018, by Julia Hamlaoui

The Communist leadership adopted this weekend a policy text that leaves room for debate between contradictory positions. Its national secretary, Pierre Laurent, has expressed his availability for another term.

At the end of this weekend, a new stage opens for the PCF in the run-up to its congress on 24, 25 and 26 November next. Yesterday, the National Council of the FCP adopted, by 49 votes in favour, 26 against and 16 abstentions, its draft orientation text (of "common base", according to militant terminology). This was vigorously discussed. Its initial version has not only been largely amended, but "this text proposes a new way of settling the central questions which remain in debate", summarizes Guillaume Roubaud-Quashie, in charge of the committee in charge of its writing. Concretely, on three subjects (the assessment of the Left Front period, strategic questions and future leadership of the FCP), the various positions are laid down on paper, in inserts "In debate". "It is an openness and a novelty to integrate a contradictory problem into the text. On these points in particular, we consider that what is proposed in the common basic project must be deepened", details Pierre Laurent, who sees there a "signal of gathering of the communists".

The members will decide by a vote from October 4 to 6
The FCP National Secretary also took the opportunity this weekend to reveal his intentions: "I am available for a new term in a direction that needs to be profoundly renewed," he said. The new faces of the Communist Party must now be put forward. "While everyone agrees on the latter idea, there is no consensus on the subject and it is the subject of one of the "windows of debate". Some think it is "necessary to profoundly renew national leadership, right down to the national secretary", while for others it is a matter of "political choices before being people’s issues," the famous insert states. As with the assessment of the alliance with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, different assessments are also made on the strategic aspect. For example, between those who support "fronts of popular unity" based on struggles and a "permanent national political forum" and those who see in them "a risk of repeating past failures".

In addition to these three questions, others were particularly discussed this weekend, such as feminism, anti-racism, ecology and work. Here too, the debate is set to continue, insists Colonel-Fabien, especially since these last subjects are among the "five revolutionary transformations" with which the CPF would like to be identified (in addition to public services and the seizure of power over money), according to the text adopted this weekend.

Not satisfied with the initial proposal, some members of the leadership argued for these "windows" of debate in order to avoid the "multiplication of alternative texts". At the last congress of the formation, in 2016, five texts in all had been submitted to the vote of the members. But not everyone was convinced. A few hours after the end of the National Council yesterday, eight of its members (most of whom had given their support in 2016 to the alternative text entitled "Communist ambition for a popular and citizen left front") launched an appeal for the drafting of another document. The text adopted "makes no new proposals on the very conception of communism or on that of a revolutionary process adapted to today’s globalised capitalism", say its signatories, including MEP Elsa Faucillon and historian Frédérick Genevée, in a joint statement, who also criticise "the abandonment of any idea of political construction to the left". Among those who opposed the adoption of the "common basic draft" on Sunday, others might jump the gun. In any case, the members of the PCF will be called upon to decide by a vote from 4 to 6 October next.

The Communist leadership also took another step this weekend towards the European elections in May 2019. Ian Brossat, Deputy Mayor for Housing of the City of Paris, was appointed "leader", surrounded by a team composed notably of outgoing MEPs Patrick Le Hyaric, Marie-Pierre Vieu and Marie-Christine Vergiat. The PCF reiterated its "availability for a list that unites the forces of the social, ecological and political left.

Julia Hamlaoui

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