1Aurélien Pradié: rejuvenating LR
“Who will the right send to debate with Jordan Bardella, Mathilde Panot or Aurore Bergé ? ” He’s laughing, Aurelien Pradie, referring to the age of the leader of the RN and the LFI and Renaissance parliamentary groups, which LR claims to defeat. But polls tell him he’s struggling to break through. Entering politics at the age of 21 by interrupting his law studies at the University of Toulouse to lead, by bicycle, campaign in the departmental elections against his socialist teacher, he wanted to be the heir of Jacques Chirac. Elected in 2017 deputy of the Lot, he links his name to the bill promoting better inclusion of people with disabilities, then to a bill against violence against women. And yet! Considered “noisy” because he did not hesitate to describe the President of the Republic as a “handyman” or even a “coward”, Aurelien Pradie annoyed. At 36, isn’t he too young for a conservative electorate? But now Marine Le Pen has a 27-year-old young man elected as president of the RN, while the presidents of the LFI and Renaissance groups are barely 33! Against all odds, he wants to hope. Even retirees tell him: “We need rejuvenation”.
2Éric Ciotti: making people forget the failure of the primary
At 57, Eric Ciotti he embodies the strength of the “little ones” who, like Nicolas Sarkozy, had to overcome tall opponents to win. Son of a modest Italian and a French woman living in the village of Saint-Martin-de-Vésubie, he moved to Paris to study at Sciences Po. At 23, he became parliamentary assistant to the deputy and future mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi. Beginning of a long companionship turned into bitter rivalry. For nineteen years, Ciotti was to be a tireless cabinet director. Before becoming, finally, in 2007, deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, then (Estrosi having had to resign because of accumulation), worse president of the general council of the Alpes-Maritimes, in 2008.
At 43, what revenge! Gone are the days when he followed Estrosi by bike on the Promenade des Anglais. Here he is at the head of a department of more than a million inhabitants. An excellent speaker, multiplying the trips, Ciotti became, in 2017, deputy secretary general of the Republicans. In 2009, he married his parliamentary collaborator, soon to be deputy director of communication for the city of Nice, Caroline Magne. But the Nice climate is tense. From 2017, it becomes untenable. Christian Estrosi says he is ready to work with Emmanuel Macron. Eric Ciotti opposes it.
Multiplying the proposals – for the national anthem at school or the strict supervision of asylum seekers – he “straightens up”, to the point that, favorite to wear the colors of LR in the presidential election of 2022but, deemed too close to the RN, he was overtaken by Valerie Pécresse. What a humiliation! The crushing defeat of the candidate, however, gives her her chances. Clever, Ciotti now presents himself, not as the possible ally of Marine Le Pen, but as the first supporter of the future LR candidate for the Élysée, Laurent Wauquiez.
3Bruno Retailleau: the curator
At 62, Bruno Retailleausenator from Vendée and president of the LR parliamentary group in the Senate, hoped to see Laurent Wauquiez enter the running this year. He therefore waited until September 1 to declare himself. After having worked for 25 years at the direction of the Puy du Fou amusement park and having assisted, at the head of his “Movement for France”, the Vendée viscount Philippe de Villiers, who has since become one of the supporters of Éric Zemmour, he distances himself from him by leaving the MPF in 2010.
This fervent Catholic, from “generations of peasants”, is married to a school doctor and father of four children. His fight for a long time against abortion is hardly appreciated except in Vendée, even if his defense of a Christmas crib censored by the Departmental Council has moved all of France. His apparent political fragility at the national level led him to take strong positions, attacking the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, on whom we “cannot count” to apply the law on secularism, or by launching, about Sarkozy: “The brand is dead! »
Its main asset remains: the support of the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, a solid opponent of Emmanuel Macron.
By the way, what really distinguishes the three candidates? Even if Ciotti and Retailleau suggest that they could, unlike Pradié, vote for pension reform, all three are determined to fight Macron. But, by declaring themselves already in the service of Wauquiez, the two eldest, given favorites, do they not weaken in advance the function of party leader to which they aspire?
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LR Presidency: what distinguishes the 3 candidates?
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