Who is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the surprise of the French elections who defeated Macron and Le Pen

Who is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the surprise of the French elections who

Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the New Popular Front are the winners of the Constituent Assembly elections in France.

"We have achieved a result that they told us was impossible. The defeat of the President of the Republic and his coalition is clearly confirmed. The President must bow down and accept his defeat," said Mélencon after the victory.

But who is the 72-year-old who suprised in the election?

Jean-Luc Mélenchon started his career as a journalist and lecturer. In 1970, he gave up teaching and joined the ranks of the left. He served briefly as the new minister of education under Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

At the age of 35, he became a senator and in 2009 he was elected an MEP. In the early 2000s, he became disillusioned with Jospin's policies, describing his government as shifting the socialists to the right.

In 2009, he created a new left-wing party and only after almost 10 years managed to get 19% of the votes. In 2022 he was a candidate for president challenging Macron and Le Pen, Mélenchon and managed to get 21.95% of the votes.

After leaving the presidential race, he announced his intention to lead the government, with the slogan "Mélenchon Prime Minister".

During Macron's presidency, the far-left leader has opposed his policies and supported the yellow vest protests against economic inequality. At the beginning of his political career, he was against NATO, describing it as an 'insult to the sovereignty of France', but later he moderated his statements.

His program and that of the allied parties has sparked quite a few debates about the positions of the extreme left. He promises to lower the retirement age, raise the minimum wage, return wealth taxes to wealthy companies and businessmen, fix prices for basic products and create millions of jobs. Because of his statements and program, Mélenchon has also been described as a 'Marxist'.