This Tuesday, June 27, 2023, the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy spoke with about fifteen deputies from the “right wing of the Renaissance” during a lunch. He thus found several ex-Les Républicains like Robin Reda, Charles Rodwell, Constance Le Grip, Damien Abad and Laure Miller.
For two hours, the former president discussed various subjects at the Hôtel de la questure of the National Assembly: war in Ukraine, health, immigration… He also took the opportunity to renew his support for Emmanuel Macron: “When we love France, we help it. […] Helping Macron means helping France,” reports Le Figaro. What does he mean by “helping Emmanuel Macron”?
Emmanuel Macron and Nicolas Sarkozy appreciate and esteem each other for a long time. The former President of the Republic even discreetly preferred the LREM candidate to the LR candidate, Valérie Pécresse, during the 2022 presidential elections. “I was very transparent during the presidential campaign, I supported Emmanuel Macron. And if it had to be done again, I would do it again”, he argued in October 2022 in the pages of the JDD.
For his part, Emmanuel Macron likes to collect the opinion of his predecessor. The two men regularly discuss the political situation and meet frequently for lunch. This was the case, among others, on Thursday January 5, Tuesday February 7, then June 8, 2023… In addition, Emmanuel Macron would like to be part of the presidential continuity of the former right-wing president. “If Macron flirts so much [Nicolas Sarkozy], it’s because he wants to join a line of presidents. He no longer wants to appear as the son of Holland”, reveals a close friend of Nicolas Sarkozy to RTL.
But, beyond mutual admiration, do the frequent encounters between the two men testify to a rapprochement between Les Républicains and Renaissance?
“The Republicans are missing Emmanuel Macron to reach an absolute majority. But if he does not openly reach out to the right and if on their side The Republicans remain on their own, they are not likely to find themselves! “, declared Nicolas Sarkozy during an interview with Figaro in May 2023. Since then, the situation has not changed. Weakened by the absence of a solid coalition, the presidential majority is seeking to rebuild itself in the aftermath of the pension reform crisis. What if Nicolas Sarkozy’s call for rapprochement was finally heard?
During lunch on Tuesday June 27, 2023, Nicolas Sarkozy would have called for an LR – Renaissance coalition, reports Le Figaro. As if to support the possibility of an imminent rapprochement between the two political groups, the president of the Renaissance deputies in the National Assembly, Aurore Bergé, came to greet the former president at the end of lunch. How would Emmanuel Macron manage to convince LR deputies to join a presidential coalition? Could Nicolas Sarkozy help him there?
During lunch on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly said: “[Elisabeth Borne] is a good and honest woman. But I prefer to be frank with you: the electorate on the right may have felt cheated by this choice on the left. “, reports Le Figaro. For the former president, the absence of an LR – Renaissance coalition is above all based on the lack of a right-wing prime minister.
Already after the second round of the presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy told Emmanuel Macron: “We must change the Prime Minister. France is on the right, we need a Prime Minister on the right.” He would then have predicted to him in May 2022, as the legislative elections approached: “You have just lost the absolute majority”, reveals Le Parisien.
As the presidential majority recovers from the pension reform crisis, will Emmanuel Macron appoint a right-wing prime minister? The future will tell.