It doesn’t look like the two left-wing contenders for the French presidency will be able to make a pact.
I wrote here a few days ago that Benoît Hamon, the mainstream Socialist Party candidate, and the far left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon could have bested the French center. A left-wing unity ticket would have qualified for the second voting round in May, according to recent polls. Marine Le Pen of the National Front is expected to qualify as well. Forced to choose between a leftist and a nativist, a majority of the French would presumably opted for the former.
But neither Hamon nor Mélenchon is willing to play second fiddle, as a result of which the left won’t stand a chance. Read more
Italy’s Democratic Party leader, Matteo Renzi, launched his candidacy for reelection this week by presenting himself as the alternative to nationalist leaders in his own country as well as America and France.
“Some people wanted a party congress to find an alternative to Renzi-ism. It needs to be done as an alternative to Trumpism, Le Penism and even Grilloism,” the former prime minister said, referring to the new president of the United States, the leader of France’s National Front and the founder of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Read more
Court Ruling Makes Early Elections More Likely in Italy
Italy’s Constitutional Court made early elections more likely on Wednesday, when it demanded changes in the electoral system that lawmakers ushered in last year.
At the behest of the center-left prime minister, Matteo Renzi, the lower of house of parliament introduced a two-round system to elect its members, which would make it easier for any one party, or coalition of parties, to win a majority.
But voters rejected an overhaul of the Senate that was meant to work in tandem with the lower-house reforms in a referendum last month. Read more
Italy’s Five Stars to Switch from Anti- to Pro-EU Bloc
Italy’s Euroskeptic Five Star Movement is leaving Nigel Farage’s group in the European Parliament and applying to join the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) instead, Beppe Grillo announced on Monday. Read more