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Valérie Pécresse in front of the pit Eric Ciotti

Editorial of the “World”. The Republican right has just entered the presidential campaign by entrusting a liberal and European woman, Valérie Pécresse, with the task of representing it. Despite the narrowness of the electoral body (113,738 voters) which allowed the president of the Ile-de-France region to win against the four other contenders, the event should not be minimized. There are still six months, we did not give expensive LR, faced with a triple problem of leadership, line and staff.

Read also Valérie Pécresse on the land of Eric Ciotti for her first campaign trip: “I want to bring together all the sensibilities of the right”

By late opting for a closed primary, the president of the party, Christian Jacob, made the right choice: he was able to organize the return to the fold of two dissidents, Xavier Betrtrand and Valérie Pécresse. He doubled the number of members of his party. Above all, it gave visibility to the competitors who had been struggling to make themselves heard until then. The irruption of two finalists who were not the favorites, the choice of a woman by the members of a party reputed to be macho brought the essential spice to a campaign launch which risked, otherwise, being sluggish. .

Chiraquienne and Juppeist, Valérie Pécresse operated a personal moult before wearing the colors of her political family. In four years, she has significantly toughened the tone on sovereign subjects, so that her project is in line with that of François Fillon in 2017. On the economic and social level, the orientation is clearly liberal, with the demand for 150,000 job cuts for civil servants. On the regal level, the tone is martial even transgressive, with an overvaluation of the theme of security, the control of immigration and the fight against radical Islamism. The candidate’s bet is to approach the score achieved by the former Prime Minister of Nicolas Sarkozy during the previous presidential election (20%) before the case of the fictitious employment of his wife disqualifies him.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Valérie Pécresse, the opponent that the Macronists did not expect

Trojan horse

The restoration of the Filloniste line, four years after the accident of 2017, flatters the supporters who have always considered that the victory had been stolen from them. However, it comes up against two pitfalls. On the one hand, the specter has shrunk due to the secession of the Juppeist right, part in support of Emmanuel Macron behind Edouard Philippe. On the other hand, the identity right is more and more on the offensive, outside LR as well as inside. The surprise score achieved by Eric Ciotti is proof of this. Arrived first at the end of the first round of the primary, the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes garnered nearly 40% of the votes in the second. Almost unknown to the general public a month ago, he has become both the strong man of LR and his weak link, acclaimed Sunday, December 5 by Eric Zemmour and his troops, who see in him the Trojan horse likely to merge right-wing and far-right electorates. In terms of the fight against immigration, the proposals are in fact very similar.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Valérie Pécresse already faced with the challenge of bringing together LR

The weight that the ideas of Eric Ciotti have acquired thanks to the LR primary, the determination he has since made to defend them through his new movement, Right!, Immediately creates an imbalance in the strategy of reconquest of Valérie Pécresse: the candidate will hardly be able to recover the moderate electorate and satisfy the demands of an identity right which is pulling more and more towards the extremes. The phenomenon is certainly not new. It is the first time, however, that it has been accomplished in such an uninhibited way.

The world

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