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Mitterrand Victory Brings Less Than Half Dozen Known Jews into New National Assembly

June 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The second round of France’s parliamentary elections which resulted in a sweeping victory for President Francois Mitterrand’s Socialist Party yesterday, brought fewer than a half dozen known Jews into the newly elected 491-member National Assembly, and only one of those identifies himself as a Jew.

The new deputies, known to be Jewish, are Claude Gerard Marcus and Olivier Stirn, both neo-Gaullists; Pierre Zarka, a Communist; Jean Worms and Claude Estier, both Socialists. Only Marcus, a Paris Deputy, openly identifies himself as Jewish and plays a role in Jewish community affairs.

Most of the new deputies are new to the political scene and have not displayed interest in international affairs generally or the Middle East in particular.

Three outgoing Jewish deputies, all members of the Center Right Party, are former Majority Leader Lucien Neuwirth, Lionel Stoleru and Jean-Pierre Pierre-Bloch. All were close to local Jewish affairs and Israel. Stoleru, a former Labor Minister, served on the board of the French Jewish Consistory until his appointment to the Cabinet. Pierre-Bloch, whose father is president of the French B’nai B’rith and LICRA, was a supporter of the Jewish Defense Organization and other community self-protection agencies.

The Socialist Party won an absolute majority of 275 seats. Political observers here stress that the new Administration can now pass any legislation it wants with no real opposition and can conduct a foreign policy of its own choosing without the need to consider the parliamentary opposition. It is also less open to outside pressures or influences. France’s next national elections are scheduled to be held in 1986.

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