• June 20, 2012

News from Celtic Press

Following the French (Legislative) Parliamentary elections that were held this month (10th and 17th June), the Union Democratiqe Breton (UDB) has described the election of one of the new Members of Parliament (Deputy) in Brittany as:

“… une bonne nouvelle pour la Bretagne, sa culture et ses langues, pour l’emploi et les avancées sociales, pour l’écologie et le développement harmonieux du territoire.”

(…good news for Brittany, its culture and language, employment and social progress, for the environment and the harmonious development of the territory).

Paul Molac was elected as a Deputy in Brittany on a joint Socialist, Green and UDB list and, although not a member of the UDB, his election is being hailed by the Party as a victory for the Breton movement.

The two round French parliamentary system works through proportional representation, which involves the creation of a list of candidates. In this system there is a long standing agreement between some mainstream left wing parties and various smaller parties like the UDB, to put candidates together on a joint list and it was from the Ploërmel area list that Mr Molac was elected. Even though Mr Molac has not previously been overtly politically active, he has had a cultural role in Brittany for a number of years, most recently as President of the Conseil Culturel de Bretagne (Cultural Council of Brittany) and President of l’association des parents d’élèves des écoles publiques bilingues en Bretagne (Association of Bilingual Parents).

So why is the UBD so enthused about the election of a man who is not even a member of their Party? Well politics in Brittany can be a little complicated, but to all intents and purposes Molac is as close to the UDB as you can get without being a paid up member of the Party itself. Mr Molac will have the political label UDB, Green and Socialist, but more importantly he is seen as the first Breton regionalist of the left wing to be elected in the legislative elections and the first left wing Deputy to be elected in the Ploërmel area.

Mr Molac said that «La proposition de François Hollande sur la régionalisation est intéressante» (The proposal of President Hollande on regionalism is interesting) and is clearly expecting the new French President to be sympathetic towards the Breton cause. Whether Mr Molac is able to influence the French parliamentary debate on important Breton issues, such as recognition and reunification, or will fight the cause of the UDB in Chamber in Paris remains to be seen.

Breton journalist Philippe Argouargh told the Celtic League:

“That he [Paul Molac] is a leader of the civil society, the cultural movement, and the president of the cultural council does not make him an UDB MP. However this is a victory for UDB as part of the coalition.”

Another candidate who was elected that Bretons hope will be able to influence the French debate in favour of Brittany is Jean Luc Bleunven, who is a Breton speaker and a parent of children attending a Diwan Breton language school. With a majority of representatives from his own Party, including many other ‘friendly’ politicans in the French Parliament, President Hollande should not have any trouble in finding agreement among the Deputies for the issues he raised during his election campaign, including the ratification of the European Charter for Regional and/or Minority Languages and increased powers for the Breton Regional Council. We must now wait a little longer to see if President Hollande will keep his word or whether he will simply ignore or retract his pledges as other French politicians have done before him.

Molac Paul was elected with 52.56% of the vote (a total of 32,197 votes).
Jean Luc Bleunven was elected with 52.29% of the vote (a total of 27, 146 votes).

Related links:

New French President is Full of Promises, But Can He Deliver?:

Paul Molac blog: https://paulmolac2012.wordpress.com/

Jean Luc Bleunven blog: https://www.jeanlucbleunven2012.fr/
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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