As official campaigning for next month's French elections opened on Monday (February 12), opinion polls were predicting a major swing towards the new Socialist-Communist alliance.
As official campaigning for next month's French elections opened on Monday (February 12), opinion polls were predicting a major swing towards the new Socialist-Communist alliance. Socialist leader Francois Mitterand started his campaign at Party Headquarters by launching a counter-attack against President Pompidou.
The President had claimed on television that a leftwing victory at the March election would threaten the overthrow of French institutions. M. Mitterand claimed the president was using psychological threats against the voters.
With the polls predicting on II per cent Socialist-Communist lead over the Guallists, M. Mitterand said that President Pompidou would be forced to take account of the upsurge of leftwing support:
SYNOPSIS: In Paris, the French election opinion poll gives the Socialist-Communist front a twelve point lead over the Guallists. In his Party's Headquarters on Monday, Socialist leader Francois Mitterand attacked President Pompidou's recent criticism of the left wing coalition.
Reacting to President Pompidou's recent indication that he would dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections if the left wing coalition wins parliamentary elections in March, Monsieur Mitterand said that his party represented those who voted for it, and that the voting rights of the French people should not be questioned.
Monsieur Mitterand's party recently backed its election challenge with a detailed programme of policy proposals which would radically alter France politically and economically. President Pompidou has said that this programme would completely overthrow France's institutions and reduce his own presidential power. In his speech, Monsieur Mitterand said that by ignoring the wishes of the voters the President seemed to insist on taking up a deplorable position - that of representing only half the French people.
Monsieur Mitterand said that no one could possibly deny the wishes of the millions of French people who represent the Left. The favourable polls, he said, offered increasing prospects of a major upheaval in French politics which could be felt throughout Europe. Monsieur Mitterand expressed confidence in an election victory and added that no one could deny the people the right to govern themselves through their chosen representative.