U.S. actors Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo, U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky and U.S. feminist playwright Eve Ensler have called on France to vote for the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
In a petition calling on French voters to not repeat the “tragedy” of Donald Trump’s election last November, the four public figures said they feared the French presidential election could end up being a choice “between corporate establishment liberalism and xenophobic right populism.”
Without being precise, they were likely referring to far-right xenophobic candidate Marine Le Pen, former Rothschild Bank executive Emmanuel Macron, and Francois Fillon, the former prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy who is currently suffering in the polls due to a major corruption scandal.
Factbox: Jean-Luc Melenchon's presidential election policies | Reuters https://t.co/A1Kv4Hjocd
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) April 16, 2017
“Thank you for your support!” responded Melenchon to Ruffalo’s Twitter account. His spokesperson, Raquel Garrido, told France Info that unlike Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate who lost to Hillary Clinton despite offering a more progressive program, Melenchon has not experienced the same opposition from within his own ranks as the Vermont senator did.
Because of this, Melenchon has the ability to win enough popular support in Sunday’s election to make the run-off election. If this were the case, Garrido believes Melenchon has a much greater chance of defeating Le Pen, assuming she also garners enough votes, than “corporate establishment” candidate Clinton did against Trump last November.
Other international public figures that have endorsed Melenchon include Pablo Iglesias, the Spanish leader of the progressive political movement Podemos. Iglesias will be with Melenchon on Friday night., the last official day of the electoral campaign.
Before he founded the “Unbowed Movement” in 2008 — a similar initiative to Podemos’ in that it sought to appeal to voters beyond the traditional left — Melenchon was an important leader of the currently governing Socialist Party for 35 years.
When Melenchon came under fire for one of the points in his program — to have French Guiana economically cooperate with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples, ALBA — Iglesias backed him on Twitter. “Before the proof that Melenchon can win, some seem to prefer Le Pen,” he said.
The support for Melenchon comes as 25 Nobel Prize for Economics winners signed a column in Le Monde blasting Le Pen’s program in seven points, including her proposal to exit the European Union and drop the Euro as a currency. The economists included Joseph Stiglitz, Jean Tirole and Angus Deaton, who all slammed her for her anti-immigration stance, calling for “solidarity” instead.