In Troyes, the boss of LR tries to forget the tensions within the party

Christian Jacob and François Baroin. – DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP

  • The Republicans’ campaign for the regional and departmental elections of June 20 and 27 was punctuated by several psychodramas, and remains parasitized by the suspense surrounding the choice of a candidate for 2022.
  • Far from these thorny issues, the party’s boss, Christian Jacob, went to Aube for a trip to support the outgoing president of the Grand-Est region, Jean Rottner.
  • But the specter of an agreement with LREM also hangs over here, and the questions about the presidential election are far from being resolved.

From our special correspondent in Troyes (Aube),

Nothing like a meeting with friends when you need a pick-me-up. Under the sun of Troyes, Thursday, Christian Jacob found a smile again and greeted “the friendship that has lasted for many years” with François Baroin, by his side. The regional and departmental campaign was chaotic for LR and the party has continued to reveal its internal divisions. But in the city of ten bell towers, where François Baroin was re-elected mayor in the first round of municipal elections in March 2020, the boss of the right came to hammer home that “the family is gathered here”.

For the meeting in support of the outgoing president of the Grand Est Jean Rottner, the audience in the Argence room, rather grizzled and conquered, warmly applauds the three men who send each other praise, far from the tensions that have shaken the party in recent weeks . “I want to thank you for having known how to create the conditions to display a face of unity,” says François Baroin to Christian Jacob, who designates him back as his “Chiraquian foster brother”.

The meeting of Jean Rottner (in the middle) in Troyes on June 10, 2021, with François Baroin (on the left) and Christian Jacob (on the right). – L. Cometti / 20 Minutes

The specter of an alliance with LREM

“We hope that you make the best score and that you are faithful to your commitments”, continues the mayor of Troyes for the attention of Jean Rottner. An allusion to a possible second round agreement with the list of La République en Marche, so dreaded by the LR management? In the entourage of the outgoing president, it is assured “that no alliance will be concluded” with LREM in the second round.

“I will do everything not to hand over this region to the National Front [sic] », Launches Jean Rottner on the platform. “My list from the first round will be my list from the second round. “Hounded in the polls by the National Rally, the LR list would lose to the second in the event of quadrangular.

Psychodrama in PACA and iconoclastic remarks by Peltier

The subject is flammable at LR since the psychodrama in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, where the Prime Minister himself announced an alliance in the first round with outgoing president Renaud Muselier (LR), placing the party leadership against a dilemma. LR finally maintained his support Muselier, but executives assured that they will not vote for him, like the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti.

However, the party is playing big for this election, as in every election since the elimination of François Fillon in 2017 and “the derailment” of the Europeans of 2019, according to Jacob. “We will rebuild more from the ground than from the top,” he assures us. At LR, it is planned to keep the six metropolitan regions held, and perhaps conquer Burgundy-Franche-Comté, Center-Val-de-Loire and New Aquitaine. But the words of the number 2 of the party Guillaume Peltier, very friendly towards Robert Ménard, rekindled internal fractures, less than a year before the presidential election.

Relaunch the Baroin 2022 card?

The party is all the more weakened as it still does not have a champion for the presidential election. Tuesday, Christian Jacob presented the device to designate the candidate of the right, after months of suspense. The path chosen, unprecedented, is based on two surveys scheduled for September. And the boss of the right got confused by announcing by mistake that Cevipof would conduct these polls, before correcting.

This Thursday evening in Troyes, is he trying to relaunch the Baroin hypothesis? The latter will also accompany Chirstian Jacob on June 15 in Toulouse to support Aurélien Pradié, LR candidate in Occitanie. “I am here for this beautiful regional election in the Grand-Est”, sweeps Jacob before going up to the platform. A few seconds later, a young man decked out in a Baroin 2022 t-shirt and a camera shoots the two men.

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