French Communist Party leader Geroges Marchais said yesterday that his party intended to take its quarrel with its erstwhile allies on the left, the Socialist into at least the first round of voting for a new National Assembly in March.
In contrast to recent national elections, Communist candidates will be competing against Socialists in many more districts, according to the policy Marchais put forward in Paris yesterday.
This should diffuse traditional leftist voting strength and enhance the chances of the present ruling center-right coalition returning topower.
Under their once strong cooperation agreement, Socialists and Communists would step aside in favor of each other so as not to split the leftist vote.
Marchais indicated, however, that the Communists would wait and see the results in the first round of balloting before deciding on what strategy to adopt in the secong round. Under French election a runoff is required in district where no single candidate garners a majority of the vote.
If we get 25 per cent of the votes, that's good," Marchais said about the first round of voting in a speech to a Communist Party Congress. "The 21 per cent (prediction) given us by the polls . . . is not sufficient."
Until last fall's split in the leftist coalition, which also includes the small Radical Party, it had been an odds-on favorite to win a majority in the National Assembly. Since the breakup it has fallen sharply in public opinion polls.
Observers have attributed the split to growing Communist fears that it was losing ground in public favor to the Socialists and their leader Francois Mitterrard. There were predictions that the Communists would have only a minor role in any leftist government that came to power.
Maschais made one comment today that some observers interpreted as a possible olive branch to the Socialists. He said that, if the Socialists were willing to respect the joint positions adopted when the leftist union was formed in 1972, "We are ready at any moment to recommence a serious discussions."
This remarks was particularly interesting observers said, because Communist insistence on greatly expanding the list of industries to be marked for future nonnationalization has been generally blamed for percipitating the coalition collapse. Agreement to go back to the 1972 platform would be a victory for the Socialists.
Marchais' speech at the party Congress included a bitter attack on both the Socialists and Mitterrard. "The Socialist Party shilly-shallys, retreats and finally gives in," he said and then added, "Each time the battle takes a decisive turn, Francois Mitterrard surrenders."
The Communist meeting condemned Thursday's meeting between Mitterrard and President Carter as "interference" in the elections. Following that meeting Carter described the Socialist leader as "beneficial" to France. American sources said the President also expressed concern about Socialist links with the Communists.
Today Mitterrard expressed puzzlement about CArter's description of him. "If he thinks that, I'm happy," Mitterrard said, but added, "I don't know exactly what he means . . . I think my role will have been beneficial if it leads the left to victory."
When asked about the President's remark today, Americna officials commened, "It's in the President's nature to be friendly with peeple."