Benjamin Griveaux having thrown in the towel, who can now succeed him to lead the municipal battle in Paris? The challenge is daunting: there is only a short month left to try to avoid the sinking of a team whose candidate kept dropping in the polls.
As soon as the deputy LREM was abandoned, the names of Agnes Buzyn, the Minister of Health, Marlène Schiappa, the Secretary of State for Gender Equality, or even Delphine Bürkli, mayor ( ex-LR) of the 9th arrondissement, began to circulate.
VIDEO. Benjamin Griveaux withdraws his candidacy for mayor of Paris
Throughout the day, this Friday, February 14, meetings have multiplied. “At least we stay united. The campaign was beheaded by a gust of wind but the gathering of the different political forces remains there, and the project too. Our proposals are still just as strong, ”believes Eric Azière (UDI), head of the list of Benjamin Griveaux in the 14th century. But who to defend it? A first debate between the main candidates for mayor of Paris is still scheduled for March 4…
This Friday, February 14 in the evening, the strategy still remained to be defined: outside personality or local candidate already elected in Paris? The different options were on the table. Some have even whispered the name of Cédric Villani, the dissident candidate, excluded from LREM just a few days ago.
“There are a lot of blows to take”
A possible candidacy of the Minister of Health was also raised during a meeting between the different parties (UDI, MoDem, Agir …) and seems to be in consensus. But can she embark on this battle when she has to manage the coronavirus crisis? And besides does she want it?
Among the more “local” candidates, Delphine Bürkli would be pushed by the right-wing macronists and … the entourage of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. The name of Pierre-Yves Bournazel, deputy Agir, was also put forward. But neither has formally expressed the desire to take up the torch. “If asked, I think they will go,” observes an ex-elected LR.
“The first round is in four weeks. There are a lot of shots to be taken and, at the same time, you have no control over anything: the lists are complete, the campaign team made up… it doesn’t really make you want, ”observes a Parisian elected official. “What they are looking for is a candidate who can defeat! Summarizes one of the participants in the strategy meetings.
Only one “available” candidate
For the moment only one has declared himself openly “available” and seems to seduce the leftist Parisian macronists: the deputy Mounir Mahjoubi. “I want to, but if everyone wants to,” he explained during a consultation meeting between the different partner parties in this campaign.
In this search for the sheep with five legs, the hypothesis of a hand extended to the candidate EELV David Belliard would have even germinated in the head of some advisers at the Elysée … before being abandoned.
Will LREM troops in Paris have their new chief appointed during the weekend? Nothing is less sure.