INTRODUCTION: France's President Francois Mitterrand has declares that a left-wing victory in the forthcoming general election is needed to create more freedom and social justice.
GV Paris - Seine with Eiffel Tower in background
GV National Assembly building
SV Posters of Nicole Questiaux, Socialist candidate, PAN TO people walking past (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM Trio of musicians playing in street TO Questiaux and pamphlets being handed out (2 shots)
CU Poster for Gisele Moreau, Communist candidate, PULL BACK TO party officials in office
GV Posters for Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin
SV & GVs Jospin with party workers campaigning in street (2 shots)
GV Jospin leaving doorway and greeting people in street
SV Centre-right candidate Jean Pierre Bloch walking along street greeting people
SV Bloch approaching party workers handling out leaflets (2 shots)
SV & GV Bloch talking to voter in street (2 shots)
GV Poster of Louis Baillot, Communist candidate ZOOM INTO CU
CU Baillot TILT UP TO Baillot banner over doorway
GV Street market with coloured man walking
GV PAN FROM Block of flats TO election poster
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: France's President Francois Mitterrand has declares that a left-wing victory in the forthcoming general election is needed to create more freedom and social justice. In a public speech on Tuesday (9 June) -- the first since his inauguration -- the new Socialist President rejected right-wing arguments that the nation's strong presidential powers should be counter-balanced in the National Assembly. Mr. Mitterrand was speaking in the final stages of campaigning for the first round of the election of June 14. The final round takes place a week later.
SYNOPSIS: The French electorate must now decide whether they want to see plans for nationalisation of key industries and decentralisation of government put into action by a Socialist National Assembly. Centre-right parties now have a 70-seat majority in the 491-seat assembly but all the opinion polls have pointed to a victory for the left.
Nicole Questiaux is the Minister for National Security in M. Mitterrand's cabinet. Her party and the Communists have reached a limited agreement enabling them to go into the general election as allies. This political accord has not decided the key issue of Communist participation in a reshuffled Socialist government.
The question of whether the Communists are included in a future government can only be decided in the light of the Communist performance in the election. The Socialist and communist parties disagree on vital issues such as the Camp David agreements in the Middle East and Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. They also differ on the stationing of Soviet SS20 missiles in Eastern Europe.
Monsieur Lionel Jospin, the Socialist Party's First Secretary, led the pre-election negotiations with the Communist Party. He said he appreciated the new friendly tone adopted at the talks by Communist leader Georges Marchais. But the Socialists wanted to make sure their prospective partners weren't motivated by tactical considerations and self-interest. Monsieur Jospin said the strong Communist criticism of the Socialists over the past three years could not be forgotten overnight.
Gaullist Jean Pierre Bloch is canvassing for right-wing votes. Centre-right candidates like him are expressing equal confidence that their outgoing majority will win the election. The Right has always claimed that a vote for Mitterrand's party would threaten democracy. Gaullist Jacques Chirac has rapidly emerged as their unchallenged leader and has carried his election campaign right across the country. Former President Giscard d'Estaing has virtually withdrawn from the contest.
President Mitterrand needs a substantial swing from the Right to gain control of the National Assembly. The Socialist party is now enjoying a swell of public enthusiasm after his presidential election victory and the decline of the Communist vote. The question now is whether Monsieur Mitterrand's presidential vote can be successfully carried over into a parliamentary contest. On Tuesday he called for a majority in the National Assembly to back his sweeping programme of economic and political reforms. It was, the President said, a "necessary choice for France."