July 31, 2021

the fear of a muzzle effect among the Republicans

The regional election in June was to be an opportunity for the Republicans (LR) party to demonstrate force. After all, several important regions of the country are held by party figures or the like. Leading political figures, such as Xavier Bertrand in Hauts-de-France, Valérie Pécresse in Ile-de-France or Laurent Wauquiez and Renaud Muselier, respectively in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d ‘ Azure, represent themselves. Some even dreamed of conquest, for example in Center-Val de Loire.

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However, it is with concern that many executives today approach this election. In the corridors of the National Assembly and in certain regional hemicycles, elected officials fear a “Muzzle effect”. Named after the outgoing president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region, who entered into an agreement with La République en Marche (LRM), which finally renounced a candidacy against the integration of 15 members of the majority in the list on the right. No parliamentarian or LRM minister were selected, without this being enough to calm concerns.

In private, and under the seal of anonymity, several LR executives, not necessarily hostile to Renaud Muselier, confide their fear that the marriage between LR and LRM in PACA will cause their party and affiliates to lose. “One, two, or even three points” at the decisive moment. Particularly in regions such as Normandy or the Center-Val de Loire. They want as proof an Elabe poll for BFM-TV according to which the National Rally (RN), led by Thierry Mariani, is ten points ahead of Renaud Muselier’s list in the first round (43 against 33).

“Pincer effect”

” A disaster, slips a leading deputy. This creates general confusion, and it feeds the pincer effect that the party is undergoing between the National Rally on one side and the Republic in motion on the other. People no longer know who we are if we exist alone. “ For this elected official, RN and LRM claim, each on their own, on markets throughout France, to represent the only solution, LR being no more than an auxiliary of one or the other. “We are being nibbled at both ends and here is Muselier coming to stir up trouble”, plague another, always under the seal of anonymity, so as not to rush a regional president whom he specifies to hold in esteem elsewhere.

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Others are more optimistic. After all, we recall in those around Laurent Wauquiez, for example, the latter’s positions are clear. Security, debt reduction and opposition to macronism being its credo, who could suspect it, one asks, of any collusion or other alliance? Ditto among those close to Valérie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand, where it is recalled that their opposition to the President of the Republic is beyond doubt, the Macronist ministers and deputies sent to fight both are moreover the proof, one would like to believe. Nevertheless, Xavier Bertrand has mounted an assault on the government on several occasions, lambasting here and there “Government inaction” on migration issues, for example.

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