Winning the Left, the Fight of the Two Founders of the Popular Primary

By Brice Laemle

Posted on January 09, 2022 at 5:00 a.m., updated yesterday at 7:31 p.m.

A little rest doesn’t hurt them. Pressures media and politics in recent weeks have been heavy on the shoulders of the duo at the origin of the Primary popular. They went through weeks of seventy to eighty hours to realize a crazy bet: to unite the left. Declared positive for Covid-19 despite her double vaccination, environmental activist Mathilde Imer, 31, finds herself alone in a small apartment in Barcarès (Pyrénées-Orientales), reading the latest work by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, in listening to Led Zeppelin.

The other spokesperson for the Popular Primary, entrepreneur Samuel Grzybowski, 29, also comes out of this end of the year. Red sweater, trimmed beard and television smile, he recovers from his grandmother, in the Meuse. He knows it, hostilities will resume at the beginning of January.

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The left at the Elysee Palace on April 24, they believe hard as iron. To achieve this, there is only one solution, according to the duo: to debate the candidates on the left, to decide between them by a vote, in order to hope to end with a single candidacy. Three months before the presidential election, they want to reverse this trend which sees left-wing candidacies stagnating at very low scores in the polls. More than 300,000 people have already registered to vote at this Popular Primary. Applicants have until January 15 to announce their participation.

Mathilde Imer and Samuel Grzybowski, in Paris, January 3.

If the socialist Anne Hidalgo, the former Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira and the MEP Pierre Larrouturou have expressed interest in this election, the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the ecologist Yannick Jadot and the communist Fabien Roussel have let it be known that they remained resistant to it. The People’s Primary vote will take place by majority judgment – each nomination will be evaluated by the voters with a grade: excellent, good, to reject, etc. The one chosen will be the one deemed the most deserving by the majority of the electorate who will vote online from January 27 to 30, via the Neovote platform, used for the Ecologist Primary and the Les Républicains congress.

“We are fed up with losing the elections and letting abstention progress!” »Mathilde Imer

Mathilde Imer and Samuel Grzybowski met in June 2020. Moved to see that there was “A young person of her age behind the incredible adventure of the Citizen’s Climate Convention”, Samuel invites Mathilde to a Parisian café. The political connection is immediate. Both “Disgusted” by the mode of operation of the parties, they launched, in July, a first movement, the Meeting of the Justices, to respond to the social, climatic and democratic emergency. Then, in February 2021, they created the Popular Primary to try to bypass parties and overcome divisions. Since then, they have surrounded themselves with a team of around fifty people and say they have trained 5,000 activists to carry their message.

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Winning the Left, the Fight of the Two Founders of the Popular Primary