PUZZLE – With five candidates declared to date, one of which, Xavier Bertrand, refuses the principle of the primary, the right will have to find a solution to separate its competitors and avoid a fratricidal duel in the presidential election.
Will the French right manage to agree on a champion before the presidential election? Despite the renunciation of one of the main potential candidates, Laurent Wauquiez, as well as of Senator Bruno Retailleau, the multiplication of contenders in recent weeks takes away the prospect of a simple consensus around a personality.
To date, five candidates are in the running to embody the right in 2022: Xavier Bertrand, Valérie Pécresse, Philippe Juvin, Eric Ciotti and Michel Barnier. With, of course, the certainty for everyone to be in the best position to bring together the family of the right and the center in 2022.
Beyond the number of suitors, one of them poses a particular difficulty. Xavier Bertrand, who started several months ago, categorically refuses to participate in a primary, convinced that it is necessary to stay out of this process to have a chance with the French.
“Applications are multiplying in a worrying way and some candidates even explain that they will present themselves without accepting a common rule”, denounced Laurent Wauquiez Thursday evening, without quoting Xavier Bertrand.
A very theoretical calendar
In principle, the statutes of the Republicans anticipated a situation where several candidates would come to compete … on condition that they all comply with the internal rules of LR. The political bureau of the movement thus recorded the filing of the files of these contenders before the end of August.
Several scenarios were considered from there. The movement is to test the names of each of the candidates in a large poll launched among some 15,000 supporters during the first half of September. At the end of the survey, either a personality emerges clearly and makes it possible to designate the candidate, or – a probable hypothesis to date – the competitors find themselves neck and neck.
If the scores prove to be tight, it will then be proposed to the militants to meet in congress on September 25 to choose the mode of nomination of the candidate: primary or not, open or not. In the absence of a primary, it is the political office which will decide. If, on the contrary, supporters choose the primary, it should be organized at the end of October, beginning of November, with the idea of leading to the nomination of the candidate in the first fortnight of November.
And after ?
This calendar is far from settling everything. Because it will then remain to arbitrate the case Xavier Bertrand, who will not have participated in the primary and will also claim the status of candidate.
One of the primary candidates, Philippe Juvin, suggested a solution in an interview with the Huffington Post. The Pompidou emergency manager proposes a political agreement with Xavier Bertrand. “In January, if he is ahead in the polls, we support him. If he is behind, it is he who supports us”, he said. A baroque solution which would therefore amount to launching a survey, then a primary, then again a survey with a new candidate …
“There is a time when everyone will face their responsibilities”, wanted to believe for his part the centrist president of Normandy, Hervé Morin, Friday on LCI. “I think there is enough intelligence to make things work out.“before warning his allies on the right, however: “If we are not gathered in the first round with a single candidate, we obviously have no chance of being in the second round”.
“We are going to unite, the only question is when … On the right, we would not be forgiven for disunity. Whoever is the divider will be sanctioned”, hammered one of the suitors Wednesday near LCI. An air of deja vu: everyone is in favor of sacred union, provided that it takes place around them.
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