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Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a French politician who served in the government of France as Minister of Vocational Education from 2000 to 2002. He was also a member of the French Senate, representing the département of Essonne. He came 4th in the 2012 French presidential election achieving about 11% of the vote. Mélenchon left the Socialist Party in November 2008 to found the Left Party with French deputy Marc Dolez. As leader of the Left Party, he joined the Left Front before the 2009 European elections and was selected as the coalition's main candidate in the South-West region. At those elections he won 8.15% of the votes cast and was elected to the European Parliament. Mélenchon is co-president of the Left Party along with Martine Billard. During the protest movement against the pension reform of 2010 his public stature grew thanks to his many public and television appearances. (via Freebase)