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Éric Ciotti or Bruno Retailleau: The Republicans choose their new president this weekend

Éric Ciotti or Bruno Retailleau: The Republicans choose their new president this weekend

In this race to find out who will be the new president of the Republicans, Éric Ciotti is one step ahead: the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes gathered 42.73% of the votes in the first round, against 34.45% for the boss of the senators LR Bruno Retailleau (and 22.29% for Aurélien Pradié, eliminated). “It’s a wide lead which has consolidated its status as favorite”, says its spokesman Éric Pauget, “serene and confident” before the second round.

“I don’t see why people who did not vote for the favorite in the first round would do so in the second,” said Julien Aubert, support for Bruno Retailleau, who swears that “today is 50 /50, but the dynamic is ascending”.

The 91,110 members will vote electronically, from Saturday 6 p.m. to Sunday 6 p.m., to choose the successor of Christian Jacob who resigned in June (Annie Genevard has been acting since then). The results will be announced immediately.

Capturing the 22% of the votes gathered by Aurélien Pradié

The two candidates agree on the refusal of any alliance with macronie and the promise of rallying.

Éric Ciotti, who boasts of his loyalty to the RPR then to LR, defends a course “of the right assumed”, “refusing political correctness”, with a very firm tone on security and immigration. Bruno Retailleau, very critical of Nicolas Sarkozy, promises him to “return the party to the members” consulted by referendum, with a line “clearly on the right” although “without excess”. One of the challenges for everyone is to succeed in capturing the 22% of the votes gathered by Aurélien Pradié.

The latter urged, on Friday, the two finalists to take into account the “popular right” that he carried, in a letter questioning in a veiled way Bruno Retailleau. Responding point by point, the boss of the LR senators assured in a letter to Aurélien Pradié that he would have “all (his) place within our party”, and that he would “take the project into account”. “You can count on me so that our family regains the confidence of the people by speaking to all the French people”, assured Éric Ciotti.

The two finalists have multiplied the nods to the Pradié electorate since Sunday. The Lot deputy did not give a voting instruction but several of his lieutenants – including the deputies Pierre-Henri Dumont and Raphaël Schellenberger – lined up behind Éric Ciotti.

Because this election also turns to the battle of support. Party in the campaign as the candidate of elected officials, Bruno Retailleau can take advantage of the support of the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher, of the MEP François-Xavier Bellamy, of François Fillon… but also of Xavier Bertrand, who called him on Sunday private evening.

Mobilize abstainers

In a tribune at Le Figaro on Monday evening, some 120 parliamentarians displayed their choice for Bruno Retailleau, “candidate of rupture, renewal and unity”.

On Friday, Christian Jacob and the boss of the LR deputies Olivier Marleix gave their support to Éric Ciotti, who also avails himself of that of the mayor of Troyes François Baroin.

As of Wednesday 140 elected officials had explained in a forum that they would vote Eric Ciotti, “the one who will win the right”. At the forefront of the signatories, Laurent Wauquiez, present Thursday evening at a public meeting in Paris.

Éric Ciotti promises to quickly designate the president of the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region as a presidential candidate if he is elected. A schedule that his opponent disputes. “This obsession with the presidential election will kill us,” repeats Bruno Retailleau.

Certainly “Laurent Wauquiez has all the qualities”, but “there is Xavier Bertrand and David Lisnard”, he adds in his latest interviews.

With 73% participation in the first round, one of the keys to the second will also be to mobilize the large quarter of abstainers, to restore momentum to a party that fell to 4.8% during the last presidential election.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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