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Left Regrouping in Belgium: PTB- Go.

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Left Regrouping in Belgium. 

On Belgium’s public radio, La Première, this morning (here),

The Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB), the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) and the Communist Party (PC) have united under the symbol PTB-GO! Can we speak of a revolution in the small leftist parties? And is this new coalition a danger to the traditional parties. According to political scientist Jean Faniel is in the union that the radical left could have an impact, particularly in the unions.

The new group, PTB-GO (Parti du travil de Beligique, Gauche d’Ouverture, Belgium Workers’ Party and the Open Left), unites a party from a Marxist-Leninist (‘Maoist’)  background (the PTB) with Trotskyists, aligned to the Fourth International and France’s Nouveau parti anti-capitaliste (NPA). The small Parti Communiste, publishers of the historic Belgium Communist journal, Le Drapeau Rouge, has also joined this alliance of “progressives“.

They will present a list for the next Federal Elections in Belgium on the 26th of May.

There is also news today that a number of public personalities have backed this new alliance – la Libre Belgique.

Commenting, the political scientist, says, the PTB, is a very radical party, “The heir to Maoist political formations of the 70s it has long limped along with a large militant organization . But the  sectarian organisation has gradually changed. In  2000 it altered it main  slogan ‘Make the rich pay’ to ‘People First’, while continuing to defend the oppressed and workers ”

The principal message of the new bloc is opposition to the austerity plans to which the country’s Socialists have agreed to, as part of the coalition running the country headed by Socialist Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. 

Is there “la possibilité d’élire un parlementaire de la gauche de gauche”  -the possibility of electing an MP from the left-of-the left?

On the programme the journalists noted that the PTB has not scored beyond 1% in national elections, but that it has steadily grown in municipal and regional ones.

In the local elections of 2012  2012, the PTB increased its representation in both Wallonie and Flanders It went from  15 à 47 local councillors, inlcuding  17 in the region of Antwerp. They got 4 provional councillors.  2at  Liège et 2 and 2 at Antwerp.  Anvers. with about 17 % of the vote  the PTB councillor, at Borgerhout, Zohra Othman, became their first “échevine” – member of the Council ‘Cabinet’. 

The PTB – and thus the new bloc – has attracted union backing from some sections of the socialist trade union federation FGTB (Fédération générale du travail de Belgique – Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond = ABVV).

The Mouvement de Gauche, which is directly inspired by the French Parti de gauche led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is not part of this regroupment.

More details (in English) on the Links (31.12.13).

And on the Socialist Resistance site, “Left Unity Belgian Style“.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

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