The future of Republicans is in doubt
Photo credit: CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP
In the context of the Borne government’s relative majority, Republicans who are undecided about whether to accept the National Assembly are concerned about their political future. While the party should hold its congress in early December, the three candidates for the presidency of the organization, Bruno Retailleau, Aurelien Pradié and Eric Ciotti, have presented their projects in the media in turn in recent days.
The proposals of three people diverge: Retailleau, who wants to attack the “party of deconstruction”, Aurelien Pradié, who calls for the return of the “people’s right”, and Eric Ciotti, who wants to favor the right wing of the party and who is now already running Laurent Wauquies for 2027.
However, all agree on their party’s current impasse and the need to stand out from Emmanuel Macron and the governing majority. The rapprochement comes amid strong opposition to Nicolas Sarkozy after the former president of the republic and leader of the right refused to support Valery Pécres in the presidential election before calling on his party to “cross the Rubicon” and ally with Emmanuel Macron. . In this regard, Aurelien Pradié even speculated this Sunday, claiming to have distanced himself from Nicolas Sarkozy: “ Among the three candidates for the presidency of LR, I am the only one who can turn this page, because I did not owe Nicolas Sarkozy and I was never one of his opponents. ».
A significant animosity towards their former leaders, which shows the crisis that the Republicans are going through. The relative majority in the National Assembly, strangled for several years between Macron and Marine Le Pen on one side, and now Eric Zemmour on the other, renews their party’s difficulties.
Last week, Emmanuel Macron called on Republicans to ally with the majority in an openly right-leaning speech. At the same time, Marine Le Pen unexpectedly voted for a motion of censure proposed by NUPES to make Les Républicains appear to be in favor of the majority. Jean-Luc Mélenchon did not hesitate to mention this last point LR’s “slowness”.
The latter sequence thus highlighted the challenge facing LR: how to appear as a solid opposition to Macron while appearing responsible to their electoral base and different from Marine Le Pen. Faced with this situation, the hierarchs of the party hesitate. Bruno Retalleau, the president of the LR group in the Senate, made the following explanation yesterday after being convinced that sooner or later the Republicans will have to introduce a motion of criticism: Sunday newspaper : ” When we present a protest motion, the government will fall. But it will fit into our calendar, because let’s face it: we’re not ready to rule. We have to rebuild ourselves first, that’s what my candidacy means “. This statement echoes the words of Gilles Platret, the vice-president of the LR, for whom the party must withdraw or form a coalition with the Macronist camp, or vote on censure motions to overthrow the government.
In fact, this prospect is not immediately visible, as evidenced by the many precautions taken by Retailleau, who even believes that the prospect of the 2027 elections should not be considered without strengthening the party in the next two years. A post-minority collapse in government, this inflation and latent social tension, without accounting for the risks of instability that an institutional crisis in a period of tension, which the right naturally craves, will indeed threaten the LRs with more MPs. prevent.
However, given the animosity shown by the party’s three presidential candidates against Macron, the outcome of the LR Congress will be closely watched by the executive. While the repeated use of 49.3 demonstrates the government’s difficulty in securing a majority in the National Assembly, more open opposition from the right could further strengthen its fragility. Without predicting the continuation of the strategy adopted by the Republicans, one thing is certain: the political crisis in which Macron is involved is not ready to be resolved.