Death of Jack Ralite, former communist party minister under Mitterrand


Jack Ralite was minister of Health at the beginning of the first term of François Mitterrand.
© AFP/ BERTRAND GUAY

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Jack Ralite, former minister of communist rule, died Sunday at the age of 89 years. This is Meriem Derkaoui, the mayor of the city of Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), a city which he led from 1984 to 2003, which announced it. “It is with great sadness and deep emotion that we learnt of the death at the age of 89, Jack Ralite this Sunday 12 November. His state of weakness had led to his hospitalization two weeks ago,” writes the mayor on the website of the city. Jack Ralite was one of the ministers in the communist government of Pierre Mauroy from 1981 to 1984.

Born may 14, 1928 in Chalons-sur-Marne (Marne), Jack Ralite had joined the PCF in 1947. A journalist for the communist newspaper The Humanity and to Humanity-Sunday, this self-taught enthusiast of culture is elected for the first time to the city council of Aubervilliers in 1959. He attended directors such as Pierre Dumayet, Stellio Lorenzi, and Claude Barma. He then became first deputy to the mayor, and then, in 1984, the mayor of this shire communist. Jack Ralite has often prided itself also have installed a national theatre, a conservatory and three libraries. In November 2002, it had announced that it would abandon its mandate in the spring of 2003 to make way for a mayor younger, then remaining a city councillor until 2008.

Minister of François Mitterrand

Member of parliament for Seine-Saint-Denis from 1973 to 1981, this massive man, known for his character steep, and the taste of the quotations, manifesto to the Assembly of a great interest for the cultural issues. He became rapporteur of the budget of the film. Jack Ralite, however, had resigned his parliamentary mandate in July 1981 to enter in the governments Mauroy as Health minister (1981-1983), and then as minister in charge of Employment (1983-1984). In Health, he was engaged in the suppression of the private sector in hospitals, and was struck immediately in the hostility of a good part of the body medical.

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Since 1995 and until 2011, Jack Ralite, regional councillor of Île-de-France from 1986 to 1992, had been a senator of Seine-Saint-Denis. Jack Ralite, a specialist in cultural issues in the CPF, has been a member of the central committee, then national from 1979 to 2000. It was one of the leaders of the “refondateurs”, supporters of a profound transformation of the PCF, calling for “a néocommunisme less monolithic”.

Passionate about culture

This lover of culture, including theatre, has been a director of la colline national Theater (TNC). He was also a director of the public institution of the City of music (1996-2006). Jack Ralite was also a member of the High Committee for housing of disadvantaged people, the national Council of innovation for student success, and the political council of the foundation Act against exclusion, launched by the former socialist minister Martine Aubry.

He moved with ease in artistic circles, where he has many friends, including the actors and stage directors Jean Vilar and Antoine Vitez. “With Vilar, it was the loving friendship, and with Vitez admiration affectionate”, said the one who welcomed Paul Claudel “, the author of the theatre of the greatest of our time”. Also a great reader, this amateur Musil, Gracq, Stendhal, Balzac, Malraux, Brecht or Aragon, admitted that he re-read “very often, either for work or for pleasure”.

In 2014, it was at the initiative of a letter to François Hollande and signed by more than 150 personalities from the world of culture who expressed their “deep concern” about the cultural policy of the government. “Culture is not a luxury, which, in times of scarcity, it would be necessary to get rid of, culture is the future, the recovery, the instrument of emancipation”, people said in the letter.

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“Sad day, Jack Ralite, my friend, my comrade , this great and beautiful man is died today…”, reacted on Twitter to the senator, CRC, Seine-Saint-Denis Éliane Assassi. “Sadness and emotion to the announcement of the death of J. Ralite. (…) He was passionately committed to the culture, demanding, and popular. Attached to the left gathered, he defended the suburbs with sensitivity,” responded Stéphane Troussel, president of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. In Aubervilliers, as soon as this Sunday, “the flags will be flown at half-mast and a tribute will be made in the coming days,” said Meriem Derkaoui.

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