Wednesday, January 19

Valérie Pécresse and Éric Ciotti will compete for the conservative candidacy for the presidency of France


Correspondent in Paris

Updated:

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Eric Ciotti (56 years old) and Valerie Pécresse (54) have won the first round of the elections primaries from The Republicans (LR, traditional right), Nicolas Sarkozy’s party. One of them must be elected on Sunday to lead the historic family of French conservatism in the presidential election campaign next April.

LR is the party heir to all the central families of the French right, whose leaders were Charles de Gaulle, Georges Pompidou, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy.

After the defeat of Sarkozy and François Fillon, in the presidential elections of 2012 and 2017, LR decided to organize, this autumn, a very rigorous primary election, to choose their candidate or candidate for the presidential elections of 2022.

Ciotti and Pécresse have won the first round, eliminating the big favorites, Michel barnier and Xavier Bertrand. Both have immediately declared that they will support Valérie Pécresse in the final vote.

LR is the first match of France in number of militants who are listed, about 140,000, at the end of September. 85% of those militants have participated in the electronic vote of the first round of the primaries. Announcing the results of the first round, Christian Jacob, president of the party, made this first provisional assessment: “The militants of the French right have mobilized in a spectacular way. No French party has achieved a mobilization of this type. The results of the first round confirm that our party is the only great national family that can present itself as an alternative between Emmanuel Macron and the extreme right-wing Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour ».

LR militants are invited to reflect and vote quickly, between Friday and Saturday, when the name of the conservative candidate for the presidency of the Republic should be known. A week later, the French right will be meeting at the first major launch rally for its national campaign.

Defenders of classical conservatism

Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France region (the most important in France, Paris and its periphery), embodies a reformist conservatism, with personal nuances. Pécresse is the first woman in the political history of the French right who can aspire to conquer the leadership of the State. Years ago, Michèle Alliot-Marie, a former minister, could have those aspirations, without success.

Éric Ciotti, Conservative MP, President of the General Council of the Alpes-Maritimes, embodies a proud and energetic conservatism of his principles, historically hostile to all kinds of negotiations with Jean-Marie or Marine Le Pen. Ciotti has been the great revelation of the conservative primaries. His political project could be summarized with this declaration of principles, after his victory in the conservative primary: “The French right can and must put an end to the process of national decline / decadence that Emmanuel Macron is consuming.”

Knowing their victory in the first round, Pécresse and Ciotti launched an almost identical political offensive, in very energetic defense of the conservatism classic and traditional, launching calls for the unity, cohesion and collective work of his party, Los Republicanos, presenting themselves, both, as the first and only rivals who may end up prevailing against Macron, Le Pen and Zemmour, with the ambition of « restore and reaffirm the national identity, the renewal of France, our Nation. Pécresse and Ciotti share this same ambition: “On the right, to save France: against extremism, against multiculturalism, cutting taxation, affirming our freedom and our collective security.”

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