The election for the presidency of the Les Républicains party will take place on the weekend of December 3. Since their spectacular defeat in the last presidential election – their candidate Valérie Pécresse won only 4.8% of the vote in the first round – the party seems weakened by the consequent ideological divisions within it. Indeed, their fluctuating strategy vis-à-vis the presidential majority seems to be turning against them more and more.
The gap is thus widening in their ranks between the more or less assumed “macronist” deputies and those approaching more and more the identity and nationalist right, as confided by the historian specializing in the French right Gilles Richard at the World. However, it is the latter who seem to take the most place in the party’s presidential race.
The party’s new number one will be chosen through an online vote over the weekend of December 3 and 4. Tonight will take place on LCI the first and only debate between the three candidates. The subjects of the sovereign, social and economic policy, ecology and the international will be discussed, in particular through the prism of the war in Ukraine.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy would be the last to have “vibrated the right” according to Emilien Houard-Vial, specialist in the partisan right whose remarks were reported by Public Senate. However, it is not good to appear as a Sarkozyist among the Republicans of today. In question: the former head of state had not expressed support for Valérie Pécresse during the presidential elections, preferring to encourage Macron to vote. The 3 candidates for the presidency of the party agree on one point: they wish to embody the opposition, the real one, and all declare themselves openly anti-macronists.
They also have very different profiles. We find a constellation opposing a favourite, a unifier who has already proven himself, and a young challenger…
The favorite of this election is none other than Eric Ciotti, who had already challenged Valérie Pécresse during the party primaries last spring. His defeat in favor of the presidential candidate had surprised many.
He owes his career to Nicolas Sarkozy, and embodies, like his political father, an uninhibited and radical right, even identity. And for good reason: the race after the RN has continued since far-right ideas seem to be gaining popularity among voters.
Eric Ciotti would thus embody a barrier, within his party, against pro-European and center-right tendencies, which today seem to be the preserve of the presidential majority. Even if he does not openly assume it, Mr. Ciotti remains the candidate for the presidency of the party most in tune with the ex-president. Many recognized Sarkozyists have expressed their support for him: Nadine Morano, Rachida Dati and Pierre Charon are among them.
This is also one of the aspects on which Bruno Retailleux, president of the Republican senators, is betting the most in his campaign for the presidency of the party. Declares to him in a very virulent way to want to “turn the page” sarkozyst of the Republicans.
Bruno Retailleux would adopt a strategy of “pedagogy of ideas” for this televised debate, according to our colleagues from Parisian. According to him, “the LR brand is dead”, and the recipe for resuscitating it would be an affirmation of strong values and pride in its identity. The candidate embodies a Catholic and Fillonist right from the start, he had also been talked about in the context of the debates on marriage for all.
He has not forgiven Nicolas Sarkozy for his lack of support for Valérie Pécresse, and affirms that “politics is about convictions and loyalty”, as reported here. Could the identity tradition put forward by Bruno Retailleux make him lose out against the youngest of the trio of candidates, Aurélien Pradié, 36, whose trademark is renewal and youth?
Aurélien Pradié, deputy in the Lot, is the most unknown of the three candidates. He hopes to embody the revival of the party and does not consider himself part of its right wing. He is supported by the young guard and especially by Xavier Bertrand. Secretary General of the Republicans, he claims to be of the social right, and hopes to reinstate a Chiraquian policy within the party.
As firm as his colleagues on security and immigration, he was however heard on issues related to disability, ecology or even purchasing power, according to our colleagues from World. If he says he is opposed to the prism of identity, he said he wanted to ban the veil, and this “perhaps even in the public space”, as Le Point reports.