French Left must unite around Mélenchon - SFRY

"The French Presidential election campaign has thrown up surprises and returned a much needed polarity to European politics. The usual commentators have been relegated to bystanders as the landscape consistently changes.

"While, elections naturally stimulate political dialogue, many are left feeling apathetic toward a perceived democracy that does not represent their interests. The dangerous rise of right wing parties and rhetoric has capitalised on some of those disaffected, but these messages only distract us from the real obstacles and an apathetic voter, or a non voter, only serves the establishment.

"The rise of Mélechon has provided a new hope for disaffected voters unseduced by the grandstanding of right wing messaging. Le Pen, the Leader of the Front National party, has always been pipped to make it to the second round of this election, but who will join her is far from decided. The hope placed in Mélechon, as a legitimate and representative alternative has seen him surge in the polls of late.

"The young European Left and Sinn Féin Republican Youth welcome this rise. We see it as an opportunity for left-wing politics to expose the empty rhetoric of the Right- a rhetoric founded in bigotry, division, with an outcome that will only continue to protect the status quo.

"We wish to express our solidarity with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a candidate that offers young French people, and young Europeans alike, a vision for a future that views them having an integral role in European society.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to call on Benoît Hamon to consider his candidacy; and to support Mélenchon in an act of Left unity and solidarity.

"This is an opportunity to pull the plug on the establishment, and elitist politics of old. The Left must reach out and snatch that opportunity with both hands, dispelling the politics founded in bigotry and hatred to the annals of history."

Ógra Shinn Féin