They urged him to move forward, to decide on a date to decide on the name of the presidential candidate. Finally, Christian Jacob, the boss of the Les Républicains (LR) party, announced a calendar on Wednesday, June 9. Without really speeding things up, he also does not settle the question of the organization or not of a primary in order to “Decide”, as the expression goes on the right, potential candidates. Meeting in a strategic committee the same morning, party executives asked the mayor of Antibes, Jean Leonetti, to work on “A process of selecting the candidate from our political families of the right and the center”.
“We will begin the day after the departmental and regional elections a new sequence, that of the presidential election, which will lead us in November to have a presidential candidate”, explained Christian Jacob during a press conference. “The objective”, he continued, is to have “A rally candidate” without “To heat the clans against each other”.
Concretely, the management’s idea is to launch two large opinion surveys with the Center for Studies of French Political Life (Cevipof) on a panel of 15,000 members. “To the values of the right and the center”. The first should be returned on September 20, the second is expected in October. “These surveys will shed light on the Leonetti choice process”, said Christian Jacob. In short, either a natural candidate emerges at the end of these inquiries, or the party decides to implement the tie-breaking system on which Jean Leonetti will have worked. No acceleration therefore, but a candidate nominated in the fall, as imagined for some time by management.
A primary organized in two months?
So on paper, things are simple. In fact, nobody seems to understand the same thing within the party because the words are so ambiguous. So for anti-primary, this calendar is a godsend. For them, it is neither more nor less than a way for Christian Jacob to save time in order to avoid the primary, favoring in passing a dream return of his candidate of heart, François Baroin. Xavier Bertrand’s supporters also hope that this delay will allow the emergence of the former minister, who stubbornly refuses to participate in any internal race.
How, explains a fierce opponent of the primary, organize an election in just two months when that of 2016 had required nearly eighteen months of preparation? “I am satisfied to see that qualitative opinion surveys will help to clarify our choice of presidential candidate. Everyone must understand that we are not in stables, but we have to be behind the candidate best placed to get to the second round ”, affirms Damien Abad, deputy of Ain, boss of the LR group in the National Assembly and support of Xavier Bertrand.
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