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Arlette Laguiller

Arlette Yvonne Laguiller (born March 18, 1940) is a French Trotskyist politician. Since 1973, she has been the spokeswoman and the best known leader and perennial candidate of the Lutte Ouvrière (LO) political party. Known to most French people simply by her first name, Laguiller is committed to the cause of the Communist revolution.


Born at Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, Arlette joined Lutte Ouvrière in 1968, and became the leader of a 1974 bank workers' strike that began with actions of employees at Crédit Lyonnais.

She has been a frequent candidate for the French presidency, starting with the election of 1974, and continuing through those of 1981, 1988, 1995, 2002, and 2007. During most of these, Laguiller was the only female candidate. Her best result was in 2002 when she came in fifth place and received 5.72% of the vote. In December 2005, Laguiller announced that she would run for president for the sixth and final time in 2007. After finishing a distant ninth in 2007's first round of voting (487,857 votes, totaling 1.33% of the popular vote), for the first time since 1981 she endorsed the Socialist Party candidate (Ségolène Royal) for the second round. In the past, Laguiller and LO have often refrained from openly supporting the Socialist Party and taken a neutral stance in the second round.[1]

Popular culture

The puppet show Les Guignols de l'info frequently caricatured Laguiller as saying, "Travailleuses, travailleurs ! On vous ment, on vous spolie !" ("Female workers, male workers! You are being lied to, you are being robbed!"). Laguiller indeed did begin most of her speeches with the formula, "Travailleuses, travailleurs!".

In 1995, pop singer Alain Souchon recorded the song Arlette Laguiller, commenting that, "Her words, of course, may be a little worn-out," but praising her "peppermint-fresh" way of expressing them, and indicating that, "When Arlette sings, you feel a real sense of love." He has since lost his soft spot for Laguiller after she refused to back Jacques Chirac against Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 2002 presidential election and has stated that he won't sing the song again.


  1. ^ "French presidential election: Sarkozy and Royal to compete in second round". Asian Tribune. 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Workers' Struggle spokesperson
1973 - 2008
Succeeded by
Nathalie Arthaud
Preceded by
Alain Krivine
Workers' Struggle presidential candidate
1974, 1981, 1988, 1995, 2002, 2007

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