Election interference: A bourgeois-democracy story from France

French Election

France is now a major area of focus in today’s geopolitics. Its on-going election is the issue. The current geopolitical scene with the background of the Ukraine war has pulled much attention to France’s election.

The current election scene in the matured bourgeois democracy exemplifies a part of the bourgeois politics.

What has happened there with election? The tough competition between two contenders is known to all. The same is interference in the political process, which claims to be free, fair, and make other similar claims.

German, Portuguese and Spanish leaders have publicly announced their choice for a particular candidate; and that announcement has been made in France.

Who is their preferred candidate?

The preferred candidate is Emmanuel Macron.

The three leaders have warned voters against supporting Marine Le Pen, the National Rally leader.

It was last Thursday; and Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, Antonio Costa, the Portuguese Prime Minister, and Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, in a jointly written column published in Le Monde and El Pais expressed their opinion: The populists and the extreme right in their countries have made Putin an ideological and political model, echoing Putin’s nationalist demands.

They claimed: Putin’s aggression targets not only Ukraine, but also the values that France and its European partners defend.

The leaders explained further:

The second round of the election in France is not an election like the others, as France is a central country in the European project.

It’s the choice between a democratic candidate having belief that France is stronger in a powerful and autonomous EU, and a far-right candidate openly standing with those who attack our freedom, our democracy.

The leaders’ article said:

Unity is the only way to prosperity, to globalization in a human way, to defend international peace and order. This is the reason France is needed by their side. The need is that France that defends justice against anti-democratic leaders like Putin.

The article is an endorsement of one candidate; and the endorsement is by three leaders of three countries. The poll, second round of election, is tomorrow, April 24. The article clearly indicated support for one candidate, and opposition to another.

The questions that surface are:

Is not this interference?

How should such an incident – article by leader(s) from other country(ies) on the eve of an election in another country, virtual endorsement, etc. – be interpreted? Not interference? Had this been the case of a leader from China or Russia? How the MSM, the mainstream media, would have reacted to such an act by a leader from China or Russia? Not interference?

The terms – populists, extreme right, nationalist, aggression, values being defended, European project, democratic candidate, powerful and autonomous EU, freedom, democracy, unity, prosperity, globalization in a human way, international peace and order, justice, anti-democratic leaders like Putin – have different interpretations to different parties, which depend on position/interest. Instead of entering into that debate, a long debate that will be, the incident can be evaluated – is it interference or not?

Election interference is not a new development in the bourgeois/imperialist world. Imperialist election interference doesn’t only happen in the Third and Fourth World countries. Election interference happens in developed/matured bourgeois democracies. It’s a regular political development in these countries. This is happening regularly in many European countries, which pose as democracy. It’s a political activity, bourgeois political activity; and this can be traced in pre- and post-World War I period. Since post-WWII, the activity increased. A detailed search in election-incidents in many European countries shows the proofs. The interfered European countries not only include small economies, bigger economies are there also.

This fact is an evidence of the character of bourgeois democracy, which the MSM propagates as a political system universal in character, and having no class interest, having no connection to capital/character of capital. The interesting part of this bourgeois democracy-story is that a part of the pro-people political forces consider bourgeois democracy as universal; accept it as the sole yard-stick of democracy, and forget its class character.

The current French-story carries another indication: This is happening in the context of a certain significant geopolitical development: the Ukraine War, to put it shortly; and an almost globe-wide war with hot and non-hot weapons, to be specific. The hot weapons that include artillery, etc., need no explanation. The non-hot weapons appear economic and financial sanctions, whose blasting power and limitation are indefinite/not-fully known to the users themselves. Election interference activity in some Third/Fourth World country till pre-Ukraine War carried no such significance.

This development, the French-story, is important from this aspect – a certain condition of capital’s role in the democracy the capital has developed, its geopolitics, its interdependence, and its factional condition.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka. With the Passing Time, NGG Books, Dhaka, www.nggbooks.wordpress.com, is his recent book.

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