Bruno Retailleau’s candidacy for the presidency of the Republicans becomes clearer

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The head of the LR group in the Senate called a meeting, by videoconference, for this Thursday afternoon at 6:00 p.m. Topic: His intention to enter the Republican presidential race.

“He announced his reflection to us,” says one participant. “He said that she was thinking”, another abounds, “but at no time did he make the slightest announcement”. Bruno Retailleau wanted to secure the support of his troops at the event. of a Republican presidential candidacy. For this reason, he organized a meeting by videoconference this Thursday night with directors of the formation.

“Almost unanimously among senators we will support him, we told him,” continues one of the elected officials. Think of him!”

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A crucial step for the 61-year-old parliamentarian… Before declaring himself fit and proper on the occasion of the Young LR days in Angers? In any case, this is the scenario that seems to be shaping up in recent days.

A suspense maintained throughout the summer

Presented as inevitable by many in LR, the Vendéen bid would have been settled during the summer. “He cut a lot in August”, we say in his entourage.

“He tells himself that he can combine the two positions, keep the LR group in the Senate and take the lead in the party,” comments a former member of Valérie Pécresse’s campaign team.

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His place in the Senate seems to have been at the center of his hesitations while the Upper House will have an important role in the new political configuration. “I saw him in early July, he told me he wasn’t going,” says a prominent personality within LR. “He thought it was incompatible with the presidency of the group.”

At the end of July, Bruno Retailleau even declared on BFMTV/RMC that the party’s presidency “is not the hypothesis I favor, I am not without responsibility.” “I am waiting to see what worries me to know what decision I will make,” he added again on our antenna.

This Thursday night, with few exceptions, his teammates did not express any opposition to this possible combination. His procrastination reminded others: already in 2019, Bruno Retailleau had given up competing to take over the leadership of the Republicans. Last year, after expressing presidential wishes, he finally did not participate in the primaries. This time, the former head of the Pays-de-la-Loire region seems more determined. Especially since the president of the Senate would have played a role in choosing him.

An anti-Ciotti candidacy?

An essential figure on the right, Gérard Larcher wants at all costs to maintain the unity of his party. And for him, it goes through a request from his colleague from Vendée.

“What tilted Larcher were the fears of division and implosion of the party that have been receding since the candidacy of Eric Ciotti,” says a parliamentarian.

“With Retailleau we don’t agree on all the issues,” acknowledges another. “But he can tolerate people disagreeing with him. Something that does not happen to the other candidate”, attacks another senator, little enthusiastic about the favorite of the militants.

While the right-wing MP for the Alpes-Maritimes, focused on security issues, is criticized internally by some, Bruno Retailleau’s more traditional conservatism would be perceived as less divisive.

“Given the state of our political family, we need someone solid, who does not make anyone leave,” judges a senator. “Eric is a little more concerned today than he was three weeks ago,” says an elected official from the South. “Some of his followers will be questioned, the cards will be redistributed”

A closer election than announced

Because although the two men have different views, they are both targeting the most right-wing activists in the movement.

“It is the uninhibited right, with similar ideological antecedents”, analyzes a support of Ciotti. “This will reserve more space for the Pradié line, which would have scored very low in the event of a duel with Éric Ciotti”

Not yet declared, Lot’s deputy, from a more social line, should also be a candidate. Among the Republicans, a potentially tense Pradié-Ciotti face-to-face was feared. The final list of candidates should be known in mid-October. The first round of elections is scheduled for December 3-4.

Author: Alexis Cuvillier with Hugues Garnier
Source: BFM TV

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