Republicans in the midst of an existential crisis

Apparently, she managed to save the furniture. After having seemed in mortal danger following the bitter failure of Valérie Pécresse in the presidential election (4.78%), the right managed to elect sixty-two deputies after the legislative elections. Less than in 2017, of course, but enough to have an influential group in the National Assembly, with which the macronists must compose for the vote on the texts. The Les Républicains (LR) party, which has the majority in the Senate, with the centrists, can also boast of having many local elected officials.

But beyond these few assets, at the national level, the picture turns out to be much darker concerning the organization of the party, which makes its comeback during the university of young LRs in Angers, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September. Leadership, line, project… Five months after the defeat in the presidential election, nothing has been settled at LR, which is going through an existential crisis. The fundamental problems remain in a convalescent formation, which has no undisputed leader since the departure of Nicolas Sarkozy from the Elysée… ten years ago.

A weak point that is all the more glaring in the new tripartition of French political life, where the main forces each have a strong leader, capable of uniting his troops, and well identified in public opinion: Emmanuel Macron for Renaissance, Marine Le Pen for the National Rally (RN) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon for the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes). For its part, the right-wing party looks like a headless duck.

“The brand is expired”

Since the old glories, Nicolas Sarkozy, Alain Juppé and François Fillon retired from politics, and other leaders like Valérie Pécresse or François Baroin have taken over, the tenors capable of taking up the torch are fewer. Those who remain are preparing to compete in the presidential election of 2027, apart from device games, such as the presidents of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Hauts-de-France regions, Laurent Wauquiez and Xavier Bertrand.

Others are already positioning themselves to take the lead of the party, like the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, Eric Ciotti, the first declared candidate for the election to the presidency of LR, which will take place on December 3 and 4, in order to to succeed Christian Jacob. With the deadline of October 3 to submit sponsorships.

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During this internal competition, Mr. Ciotti will be opposed to the deputy of Lot, Aurélien Pradié, and to the president of the LR senators, Bruno Retailleau, in a sort of three-way match.
The ex-lieutenant of François Fillon formalized his candidacy for the presidency of LR, Friday September 2, in an interview with the Figaro, by posing as the best able to “gather” against MM. Ciotti and Pradié. “This election must not turn into a face-to-face between two camps that would play one-upmanship”, warns Mr. Retailleau. Which will participate in the return of young LR, in Angers. An appointment where all declared or potential candidates will be present, as well as other leaders.

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Republicans in the midst of an existential crisis

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