|Minister of Vocational Education|
27 March 2000 – 6 May 2002
|Prime Minister||Lionel Jospin|
|Preceded by||Claude Allègre|
|Succeeded by||Luc Ferry|
|Member of the European Parliament
14 July 2009
|Senator from Essonne|
2 October 1986 – 24 September 1995
1 October 2004 – 7 January 2010
19 August 1951 |
|Political party||Internationalist Communist Organisation (Before 1977)
Socialist Party (1977–2008)
Left Party (2008–present)
|Alma mater||University of Franche-Comté|
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃.lyk.me.lɑ̃'ʃɔ̃]; born 19 August 1951) is a French politician who served in the government of France as Minister of Vocational Education from 2000 to 2002. He was also a member of the French Senate, representing the département of Essonne. He came 4th in the 2012 French presidential election achieving about 11% of the vote.
Mélenchon left the Socialist Party in November 2008 to found the Left Party with French deputy Marc Dolez. As leader of the Left Party, he joined the Left Front before the 2009 European elections and was selected as the coalition's main candidate in the South-West region. At those elections he won 8.15% of the votes cast and was elected to the European Parliament.
Mélenchon is co-president of the Left Party along with Martine Billard. During the protest movement against the pension reform of 2010 his public stature grew thanks to his many public and television appearances.
Personal life 
Political ideas 
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Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a socialist republican and historical materialist, inspired primarily by Jean Jaurès (the founder of French republican socialism) and employing Marxian analysis to understand the crisis of market capitalism.
Previously a defender of European federalism, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has renounced that political commitment, declaring that "the European Union is no longer a solution but a problem, because economic liberalism has totally corrupted the institution and makes it impossible to achieve the democratic change needed in the EU, all power belonging to technocrats with no popular legitimacy." For this reason, he is for the establishment of a different, democratic, united, and cooperative Europe, and is opposed to the Lisbon Treaty as well as questioning the independence of the European Central Bank.
Based on his experiences in South America, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, like Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales,[dubious ][improper synthesis?] favours a "citizens' revolution" (révolution citoyenne), drawing additionally on ideas stemming from the French Revolution and the Paris Commune, and a new strategy that respects the democratic process while seeking to win elections in order to change the constitution. This "citizens' revolution" should lead to a reversal of the current division of wealth held by capital, represented by shareholders, and the working class (understood in the broad sense of anyone who actually works to earn money directly). Additional goals include a new constitution that will initiate a 6th French Republic in which the president will have less power and Parliament more, increase wages, a public bank created by nationalizing the private banks, democratization through the establishment of new rights for employees allowing them to develop cooperatives, the nationalization of large corporations, environmental planning, an exit from NATO, an end to the war in Afghanistan, and peace in the Middle East through the creation of a Palestinian state. Jean-Luc Mélenchon also insists on the importance of "popular involvement" through public referendums on any essential subject. He expressed his support for even more secularization of the French society and for the legality of same-sex marriage and euthanasia.
2012 French presidential candidate 
He was the candidate representing the Left Front (Communist Party of France, Left Party, Unitarian Left) in the 2012 French presidential election. He took fourth place and achieved 11.05% of the vote, trailing behind François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Marine Le Pen and their respective parties, the Socialist Party, Union for a Popular Movement, and National Front. For comparison, the frontrunner François Hollande received 28.63% of the vote.[not in citation given]
2012 French legislative candidate 
Hénin-Beaumont in 2012 
Mélenchon represented the Left Front in the Pas-de-Calais' 11th constituency, to confront his rival Marine Le Pen, where she had over 31% in the presidential election. He received third place with 21.46% of the vote, narrowly edged out for second by Socialist Party member Phillip Kemel. Mélenchon decided not to stand in the second round of the election after this result.
Political career 
Minister of Vocational Education, 2000–2002.
Member of European Parliament since elected in 2009.
Senate of France
Senator of Essonne, 1986–2000 (became minister in 2000), 2004–2010 (resignation, elected in European Parliament in 2009). Elected in 1986, reelected in 1995, 2004. (At the age of 35, he was the youngest member of the Senate when he was elected to it in 1986.)
Vice-president of the General Council of Essonne, 1998–2001.
General councillor of Essonne, 1985–1992, 1998–2004. Reelected in 1998.
Deputy-mayor of Massy, Essonne, 1983–1995.
Municipal councillor of Massy, Essonne, 1983–2001. Reelected in 1989, 1995.
President of the Left Party since 2008.
- Statement by Jean-Luc Mélenchon made after he left the Socialist Party (French)
- Speech by Jean-Luc Mélenchon at the creation congress of the Left Party (French)
- "Le CV de Jean-Luc Mélenchon", Europe 1, 5 March 2012
- "Lycée Pierre Corneille de Rouen – History". lgcorneille-lyc.spip.ac-rouen.fr. 19 April 1944. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- Candidates officially endorsed by Conseil constitutionnel for the 2012 presidential elections, La Tribune. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Maïa de la Baume; Steven Erlanger (10 April 2012). "A far-left candidate comes on strong, shaking up French field". International Herald Tribune (Paris).
- "Elections Législatives – Results". France 24.
- "Election présidentielle 2012 – Résultats du 1er tour par circonscription" (in French). Politiquemania.
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