PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION – Michel Barnier announced Thursday on TF1 that he will be a candidate for the primary with a view to the appointment of a presidential candidate within the Republicans. The European Commissioner is the 5th right-wing official to embark on the race.
The electoral calendar is accelerating on the right. A few hours after the deputy Eric Ciotti, the European Commissioner Michel Barnier announced, Thursday on TF1, his candidacy for the primary within the Republicans for the presidential election of 2022. “Yes, I made the decision to be a candidate for the presidential election. The times ahead are demanding and serious times. (…) I have the ambition to be the president of a Reconciled France “, said the European commissioner on TF1.
The former European Union negotiator in charge of Brexit is the fifth right-wing personality to formalize his candidacy for the presidential election, after Xavier Bertrand – who refuses to participate in a primary -, Valérie Pécresse, Philippe Juvin and Eric Ciotti.
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Other personalities could make their intentions known very soon, such as Bruno Retailleau. On the other hand, the former Republican boss Laurent Wauquiez has given up on getting into this internal competition. Anyway, the scenario of a primary – which the Republicans had considered for a while to avoid – seems to be confirmed in the fall, with the prospect of offering the right a champion for the start of the year 2022.
Long political career
If he remains for the moment little known to the French, Michel Barnier, 70, is to date the most successful candidate of the right in terms of political career. General Councilor then President of the General Council of Savoy from 1973 to 1999, he was in turn Member of Parliament (1978-1993), Minister of the Environment and then of European Affairs under Jacques Chirac, Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs then of Agriculture under Nicolas Sarkozy.
At the European level, Michel Barnier was Commissioner for Regional Policy from 1999 to 2004, MEP then Commissioner for the Internal Market, before handling the negotiations on Brexit with a view to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
“We do not decree the man of the gathering alone in his corner”, He lambasted in July, on LCI, about Xavier Bertrand’s choice not to participate in the LR primary. The former minister then assured that he could “bring together the talents of the right and the center” as part of a presidential campaign. He also outlined several proposals, including a three to five year moratorium on immigration, and ruled that security issues constituted “the main failure of this five-year term”.
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