Will they be able to come to an agreement before the ballot? The Republicans (LR) party brings together, Tuesday, July 20, several potential right-wing candidates for the presidential election. A meeting, far from the cameras, which takes place without the already declared suitor, the former LR Xavier Bertrand.
The right has “A duty of unity”. “No one would forgive us for disunity and none of us [n’en] would come out unscathed “, warned Monday, on Europe 1, the former negotiator for Brexit, and possible contender in 2022, Michel Barnier.
Michel Barnier on Les Républicains: “We have this duty of unity (…) None of us would come out unscathed from … https://t.co/NRuBx8Hgyf
The president of LR, Christian Jacob, the president of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, and the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, who was in charge of a mission on the “Assembly process” of potential candidates in 2022, host this meeting from 3 p.m. in a Parisian hotel “In camera”. His location was not disclosed to the press.
September 25 as the deadline
In addition to Mr. Barnier, the leader of senators LR Bruno Retailleau, the president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Laurent Wauquiez, and the mayor of La Garenne-Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), Philippe Juvin, are expected. all LR, as well as the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, who left the party.
“It’s a first step, a first contact. This is not a decisional meeting ”, we said in the entourage of Mr. Jacob who, for his part, will meet Xavier Bertrand ” in the coming days “. The president of Hauts-de-France indeed refused to participate in this meeting, his entourage recalling that Mr. Bertrand did not want to be a candidate for a primary.
The party has set September 25 as the deadline for reaching an agreement. If this optimistic hypothesis does not materialize, a congress will decide in the fall of a tie-breaking process, despite the reluctance of the management on the primary.
“The hour for women has come”
Mr. Bertrand intends to pose as a unifier of his political family, at the risk of engaging in a standoff with his former party. “I have a special responsibility, it’s up to me to lead this gathering (…), by staying on a line that is mine “, he said recently.
Currently, he seems the best placed with 18% of voting intentions, according to a poll published on July 4, against 14% to Valérie Pécresse and 13% to Laurent Wauquiez. He remains behind Emmanuel Macron (24%) and Marine Le Pen (26%).
But this lone rider makes the right cringe. “The providential man or woman that some hoped for did not impose himself”, affirmed Valérie Pécresse, Laurent Wauquiez and Bruno Retailleau, as well as Hervé Morin (Les Centristes), in a tribune at the Figaro published on July 5.
All four are calling for the organization of a primary ” as soon as possible “. A primary “Very widely open” stay here “Only democratic solution”, supports Valérie Pécresse, who has already promised to ” hear [sa] voice “ during the summer. “The hour for women has come”, she said in Provence beginning of July.
Debate on the primary
“None of those who want the support of this political family would recover from not participating, from being outside this collective game”, warned Mr. Barnier in the same tone on Monday. Wish him “Find a method” because “The primaries are not the only solution”.
Michel Barnier on Les Républicains: “The primaries are not the only solution, I hope we can do without … https://t.co/x5r77rm93P
“I hope that we can do without it thanks to a collective work between us. We can build a French team (…), find a team leader, without necessarily going into a period of quarrels, divisions, one-upmanship as were the primaries in the past ”, argues the former minister of Jacques Chirac.
LR management is very reluctant to organize a primary, which it believes is synonymous with “Machine to lose”, by reviving the stables and resentment. For former minister Jean-François Copé, the primary is “A trap” and “A dangerous idea” who “Would automatically benefit Laurent Wauquiez”, he told the JDD July 11.