The leadership of France's centrist coalition, the Movement Reformatour, called on a giant rally on Wednesday (January 31) in Paris to concentrate on the defeat of the Gaullists in the coming elections.
GV Movement Reformatour party officials on platform, banner above
SV Movement Reformatour party officials on platform, banner above
SV & CU Servan-Scheiber (2 shots) PAN TO Officials applauding
SV Jean Lecanuet at rostrum
CU Lecanuet speaking
SV Officials on stage applaud
The coalition supporters were told by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber they should concentrate efforts against the ruling Gaullists. The Gaullist party had been stagnant for years, Monsieur Servan-Schreiber told the meeting in the giant Palais des Sports.
Monsieur Servan-Schreiber is president of the Parti Radical, which combined with the Centre Party to form the broadly based Movement Reformatour.
He told the rally that the Gaullists had already lost the support of the French people. He said if the Movement Reformateur was returned it would institute a programme which people would feel instead of just talking.
Neither Monsieur Servan-Schreiber nor Jean Lecanuet, president of the Movement Reformatour, mentioned the coalition of Socialists and Communists which in recent polls has threatened to unseat the Gaullists.
Monsieur Locanuet said the people of France were now questioning what was happening in the country. He said the Gaullists were secretive and unresponsive, Indications are that the Gaullists, rocked by a series of scandals and facing strong left-wing challenge, will lose a lot of seats. Polls have not yet taken into account the strength of the centre coalition, many of whoa members had bolstered the Gaullists.
Initials ESP/0159 ESP/0213
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Background: The leadership of France's centrist coalition, the Movement Reformatour, called on a giant rally on Wednesday (January 31) in Paris to concentrate on the defeat of the Gaullists in the coming elections.
Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreibes and Jean Lecanuet called for unity among the centrists against the Gaullist supporters of President Georges Pompidou. Neither made any reference to what is considered the greatest threat to the Gaullists - a left wing coalition of the Socialist and Communist parties.
M. Servan-Schreiber, leader of the Parti Radical, which combined with M. Lecanuet's Centre Party to form the reform movement, said the Gaullist majority had already lost the support of the French people. He said the Movement Reformatour had a programme that was not just talk, but action.
M. Lecanuet said his programme was the same as when he ran against the late President Charles de Gaulle in 1966. The Gaullists were a static party, secretive and unresponsive to the country's needs. A true democracy, he said, respected any religion and any opinion and that was what France needed and what the Movement Reformatour offered.