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Presidential election 2022: Jean Leonetti ensures that “there will be a primary” of the Republicans and puts pressure on Xavier Bertrand

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There will be a primary at Les Républicains (LR) to select a candidate for the presidential election of 2022. However, it remains to determine the outlines: open to sympathizers or only to militants inserted? The announcement was made on Wednesday, September 8, in the columns of Figaro by the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, charged by the president of the party, Christian Jacob, to reflect on the separation of the right-wing presidential candidates.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Presidential 2022: Republicans go round in circles on the primary

“No one imagines that a small political office can nominate a candidate on its own. From the moment we have noted that there was no natural leader, we must vote to decide between and bring together, he explains. There will be a primary, whether it is open to activists and sympathizers or limited to activists only. “

For Mr. Leonetti, however, there is no question of a fully open primary, as in 2016, which had seen nearly 4.5 million voters decided in the first round François Fillon, Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy, in particular: “We all agree that the 2016 primary, which is in our statutes and which was completely open, can no longer take place. “

Mr. Leonetti therefore pleads “For a primary semi-open to activists and sympathizers”, which provides a stronger footing and “Creates a campaign dynamic around the candidate”. While LR management is hostile to the idea of ​​a primary, he is careful to specify that “The activists will have the last word” September 25, during the party congress. LR’s strategic council met on Tuesday morning around this issue and must meet next week, before a political office which will endorse the terms of the text submitted to the militants. As announced by Mr. Jacob, the party also plans to launch a major survey conducted by the polling institute IFOP with a sample of 15,000 people, in order to see more clearly between the presidential candidates.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Presidential 2022: Republicans launch a poll on the question of the primary

Xavier Bertrand plays appeasement

“Nothing is decided” today on the terms and we can for example “Consider a participation of around 2 euros for all voters”, as well as the inscription “In a file on which our candidate can rely during the campaign”, assures Mr. Leonetti. This primary could see Valérie Pécresse, Eric Ciotti, Michel Barnier, Philippe Juvin and Denis Payre face each other, who have declared themselves candidates in recent days.

For his part, Xavier Bertrand, who left LR in 2017, still refuses to participate in a primary, convinced that the presidential election is “A meeting between a man and the French”. During his interview with Figaro, Mr. Leonetti took the opportunity to put a little more pressure on the president of the Hauts-de-France regional council:

“Either Xavier Bertrand is ready to participate in an open primary, and we are always ready to discuss the terms with him; or he refuses, and the primary will take place without him. But in this case, the party will be behind that which will have been designated by the procedure (…). If he refuses, he will appear as a dissenting candidacy. “

During a trip to Châlons-en-Champagne on Tuesday, Mr. Bertrand tried to play appeasement with LR. “No question of doing without the political parties”, he assured during a press briefing. “I want to work with possible candidates today in primary school, I want to open my arms to them, I want to reach out to them”, he added, paying tribute to the “Talent” by Mme Pécresse and” experience “ by M. Barnier. Another signal, Mr. Bertrand has just appointed ten spokespersons, all LR except one, with even two vice-presidents of the party he left in 2017.

Read our survey: Presidential 2022: Xavier Bertrand plays the strategy of the second round

The World with AFP

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