French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a strong opponent of the Front National, is wrongly accused of having praised the party in the past. This rumor is based on a copy of an incomplete interview in the Quotidien de Paris (a French newspaper), dating back to December 25th, 1991. Mélenchon is quoted as having said: “The only party that rehabilitates politics is the Front National”, but the quotation is truncated. In fact it was not praise for Marine Le Pen’s party. However, comments on the post by Facebook page “On Aime La France” (We love France) declared the opposite, and the misleading post was shared 15,000 times in under 24 hours.
(Translation: “The only party that rehabilitates politics is the Front National”. There you have a statement by Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 1991. Please share this image so many times so that it goes around France! Just blow up the sharing meter! I’m counting on you, one and all! Thank you in advance.’)
In this Quotidien de Paris interview (which is not to be found it its original form on the Internet), Mélenchon, a member of the ruling Socialist Party in 1991, criticized the absence of Socialist Party proposals. “The SP has abandoned politics. I am going to tell you something awful: today, the party that rehabilitates politics is the Front National”, said Mélenchon, according to an extract of the interview published the following day (December 26th,1991) by Le Monde.
In 2011, when asked about the quote on Direct 8 (a French TV Channel) by Valérie Trierweiler, Mélenchon firstly reminded us that he “fought hard to make the Front National illegal”.
He then explained his statement in 1991: “It meant that the militants and managers of the Front National believe politics can change the course of events, which I agree with. Then, there are people that disagree and believe there is only one option, only one possible world order”, said Mélenchon at the 15th minute of the video.
Front National leader Marine Le Pen also mentioned the 1991 interview to Mélenchon on France 3 (a French TV Channel) on June 2nd,2012 (11th minute of the video), as both were competing for the deputy position in Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais, Northern France). “You did not find this article by yourself”, answered Mélenchon, before restating his explanation as given to Valérie Trierweiler a few months prior.