in Lyon, Gérard Collomb retires in favor of LR

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Gérard Collomb and Senator Les Républicains (LR) du Rhône François-Noël Buffet, in Lyon, May 28. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

“It’s a moment that may surprise us because we come from different political families”, warns Gérard Collomb. In the afternoon of Thursday, May 28, the outgoing mayor of Lyon publicly confirmed his rallying to the right, while announcing the withdrawal of his candidacy for the presidency of the metropolis of Lyon. Contrary to forecasts, the former Minister of the Interior finally ceded his head of the list to Senator Les Républicains (LR) du Rhône François-Noël Buffet, and the right agreed to withdraw Etienne Blanc’s candidacy for mayor, profit of Yann Cucherat.

This pact was sealed during the day on Wednesday, May 27, during an hour-long meeting between the former interior minister of Emmanuel Macron and Laurent Wauquiez, LR president of the Auvergne-Rhône region- Alps. After very low results in the first round, the routed mayor proposed this solution to the leader of the regional right, knowing that no one can claim to win alone. The reluctance of LR Rhône executives, including Alexandre Vincendet, 36, president of the federation, was ironed out by the former party president. On the other hand, the current president LR, Christian Jacob, hastened to specify that the agreement “Is not in any way a political agreement at the national level”.

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In the spa area, on the ground floor of the Grand Hôtel des Terreaux, the speeches of the new partners very much invoke the Lyon tradition, independent of appliances, and generous in imaginative combinations, in the name of the higher common interest. “With the economic and social crisis looming, it is better to have people who are used to responsibilities”, at justified Roland Bernard, loyal to the Collomb camp. There is also much talk of the green peril. “The second largest city in France cannot reasonably become a small laboratory for decay or a place for experimenting with hazardous ideologies practiced by apprentices”, added Etienne Blanc in a press release at the end of the day.

“The collapse of Gérard Collomb’s values”

This exchange of good practices on the backs of environmentalists provokes very lively reactions. Stanislas Guerini, the boss of La République en Marche (LRM), condemned Gérard Collomb as early as Thursday evening, proposing the divestiture of Yann Cucherat. “By choosing to ally himself with Les Républicains with the blessing of Laurent Wauquiez rather than working to bring our political family together, Gérard Collomb has crossed a red line”, said the leader of the presidential party. Without an official candidate in Lyon, the presidential party risks several defections towards the dissident David Kimelfeld, like that of Julien Ranc, in the 7e western riding of the metropolis.

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