Secretary of State for Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari announced in December that he would be on the LREM list in Limoges (Haute-Vienne), behind ex-socialist Monique Boulestin.
A few months ago, few ministers were fighting to go to municipal elections. Today, they could be close to 30%. What happened ?
JEAN-BAPTISTE DJEBBARI. When one is engaged in politics, and particularly in a ministry, it seems very important to me to speak and the presidential project. All the more so in the context of the municipal election, which probably offers the greatest proximity to citizens. Many ministers are already elected in the territories, others will do their baptism of fire there. It is, in any case, a form of continuity of action in the service of the French.
Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe passed on instructions?
There are not any. Everyone does their examination of conscience, everyone is free to declare themselves according to their territorial roots. But it is always healthy to face a campaign because these are moments of direct contact with the field.
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Even more for ministers who come from civil society?
It is vital to rub yourself on the ground, to feel the depths of what the French think.
You yourself will be a candidate in Limoges…
It is a city which has many advantages, but which has difficulty asserting itself. This surely comes from the great concentration of powers in this territory. For more than a hundred years, the town hall of Limoges was kept red or pink. These concentrated, feudal systems end up producing little and sclerosing the territories. In the 1970s, the Paris-Limoges rail line was the fastest in France. This is no longer really the case today…
What message do you intend to send through this application?
The first is that politics is not just for an elite. For example, nothing predestined me to do politics from my F 3 accommodation, in Melun. I come from a large family who had no money or special contact. Politics is available to everyone. The second message is that in France with hard work and determination, nothing is impossible. The third is that of commitment: everyone should try to exercise a mandate at some point in their life, whether political, citizen or association.
But why not top the list?
I asked myself the question, then I was appointed Minister of Transport in September. A ministry of crises and actions, with projects in particular for the next six months. I want to respond to the confidence that the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister have placed in me by appointing me.
How are you going to reconcile your two agendas, minister and candidate?
It is quite possible to reconcile a post of municipal councilor with that of member of the government. Seven days is a long time! I will campaign on weekends. Anyway, being at the head of a department like Transport means being on the bridge 24 hours a day. It will not change.