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French Guiana

Parliamentary elections show growing mistrust of French state

Tuesday 21 June 2022, by l’Anticapitaliste

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The results of the legislative elections in overseas France are a slap in the face for Macron. The Secretary of State for the Sea, Justine Benin, was defeated and, in most constituencies, so were the Macronist candidates. Even if the turnout is low, these results show a rejection of the colonial policy of the government, especially around the health pass, but also the disastrous state of public services.

In Guyana in particular, the victory of Jean-Victor Castor, from the MDES (Mouvement de décolonisation et d’émancipation sociale), as well as that of Davy Rimane (LFI) in the 2nd constituency are the long-awaited political translation of the social movement of 2017, which had highlighted the shortcomings of the state in this territory. The NPA and the MDES share important positions against French imperialism and for the social demands of the working classes. In the 2nd constituency, Philippe Poutou supported Christophe Pierre in the first round, who defended a break with French domination, a voice for indigenous people and for social demands. He obtained 11.1% of the vote and, for the second round, it seemed obvious to support Davy Rimane, a figure of the social movement.

In the first constituency, the result was unprecedented, with none of the candidates supported by the bourgeoisie reaching the second round. The unexpected outcome will see Yvane Goua, spokesperson for the Trop Violans association, at the forefront of many social movements since 2017, and Jean Victor Castor, deputy secretary general of the pro-independence MDES, confront each other. The two candidates defend a position of radicalism towards the French state and project themselves in the perspective of an emancipating statutory evolution from French tutelage. Yvane Goua defends more populist positions than Jean Victor Castor who defends a global project of emancipation put forward by the MDES.

The right saw its two candidates being left behind, and as for the four lists supported by the various members of the majority of the CTG (all identifying with NUPES), their assembled votes would not have allowed them to reach the second round! The second round promises to be close and activists politically close to the NPA have already gone back to campaign to elect the MDES comrade.

In the second constituency, the outgoing Macron-supporting deputy came out ahead but with a smaller lead than in 2017. He will be opposed as in 2017 by trade unionist Davy Rimane, supported by LFI. Christophe Pierre, who received the support of Philippe Poutou, ceded third place by a few votes to another leader of the 2017 social movement, Manuel Jean Baptiste. The second round promises to be close, in 2017 only 51 votes separated the two candidates, requiring a new second round. A victory for Davy Rimane combined with the victory of a protest deputy in the first constituency could open a new page in the long march towards the emancipation of French Guiana.

It is to be hoped that these electoral victories will help build a movement against French colonialism and for the victory of the social and democratic demands of oppressed peoples.


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