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Sarkozy, Holland… when ex-Presidents exasperate their political family

the essential
The former Presidents of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande are constantly working to influence their camp’s legislative campaign.

Christian Jacob, the president of the Republicans, and Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, embody two very different political lines but have at least one point in common: both must support the omnipresence of the former presidents of the Republic from their camp while the legislative elections are being prepared. We are, in fact, very far in France from the attitude of American presidents who, once they have left the White House, devote themselves to their foundation and never intervene – except in a very exceptional way – in the life United States policy.

continue to weigh

In France, it’s quite the opposite and the “ex” – especially if they left the Elysée unwillingly – want to continue to weigh. We remember Valéry Giscard d’Estaing who, beaten in 1981 by François Mitterrand, became active in politics again a few years later.

Defeated in 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy returned to the fore in 2014 by taking the head of the UMP then by trying to be invested in the primary of 2016 where he was sharply beaten in the first round. The former president has since retained the role of paterfamilias of the right despite his multiple court cases. An essential tutelary figure whose aura is however in the process of fading. His non-support for the LR candidate for the presidential election, Valérie Pécresse, yet his former minister, annoyed more than one, as did his very privileged relationship with Emmanuel Macron. But it is his attitude for the legislative elections which constitutes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. By suggesting to the re-elected president to support a group of around thirty LR Sarkozyist deputies who would be tied to the presidential majority, Nicolas Sarkozy opened the floodgates of criticism visibly long contained.

Already on April 19 in Le Monde, Gaël Perdriau, LR mayor of Saint-Etienne wondered: “Will the Republican right finally turn its back on the identity drift started by Nicolas Sarkozy? Then after the ex-President’s call to respond to Emmanuel Macron’s outstretched hand, the critics redoubled.

“Chronos who eats his children”

“Nicolas Sarkozy’s position is a personal position. It is not that of our political family. We will not rebuild the right by diluting ourselves in macronism. We will rebuild on fidelity to our convictions, ”assured the boss of LR senators Bruno Retailleau. “We were waiting before the first round for you to come and help your political family. You speak now. It’s too late, like Grouchy at Waterloo. It will clearly be no for me, ”said MP Julien Aubert on Twitter.

“The problem is not so much that he is calling for Macron to vote, but that he is responding to his call and proposing the end of LR”, he continued, considering that Nicolas Sarkozy has become “Chronos who eats his children. “Since then, the LRs have decided to go to the legislative elections alone, believing that they were not” fungible in Macronie “.

Hollande and the “disappearance of the PS”

On the left, François Hollande also annoys the Socialist Party. The former President – ​​who had given up standing for re-election in 2012 and who dreamed of being in “Plan B” of the candidacy of Anne Hidalgo, whom he had belatedly supported with lip service – intends to influence the future of the PS. Some lend him the intention of being a candidate in his former constituency of Tulle (Corrèze), others assure that he wants to help rebuild the party of which he was the First Secretary for 11 years, even to create yet another new social structure. -democrat.

For the time being, its objective seems to be to prevent any agreement between rebellious France and the PS, whose National Council has nevertheless validated the negotiations. The former President warned yesterday on FranceInfo against the risk of “a disappearance” of the PS in the event of an agreement with LFI. It would be “a questioning of the very history of socialism, of François Mitterrand and his European commitments, of Lionel Jospin and his economic credibility and his social progress”, he warned – forgetting that Lionel Jospin said in favor of an agreement. And François Hollande to wish to see this possible agreement “reviewed or postponed so that the Socialist Party can, with its environmentalist, communist partners, begin to consider another union”.

“It is not a discussion that is in question, it is a disappearance. Discussing is necessary, disappearing is impossible”, he underlined the day after the first exchanges of the PS with LFI, which is also negotiating with EELV and the PCF for the ballot on June 12 and 19. “Never in the history of the left have we had this type of behavior, including when the Socialist Party was doing 25-30% and its allies, supposed or real, were doing 5-6%”, he explained, contesting the hegemonic behavior that the PS may have had in the past with its allies.

François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy on March 28, 2018
AFP – PHILIPPE LOPEZ

If he admitted having “necessarily a share of responsibility” in the current state of the PS, François Hollande deplored that “for five years”, his party has not engaged in “programmatic work”, forgetting that his relatives have everything has been done since 2017 to prevent a right of inventory from being exercised over his five-year term.

Finally François Hollande criticized, without quoting Olivier Faure, a direction “without incarnation”. “A coalition is not a submission”, considered for his part the interested party in Le Figaro yesterday, specifying: “The lefts are not irreconcilable. This thesis has only one object: to give free rein to the liberals. Divide and conquer is as old as the world. »

In the end, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, who, at 67, are increasingly cultivating an image of “uncle gunslingers”, find themselves with the same desire to continue to influence the life of their political family, but upside down : for the LR, one advocates rallying and not isolation, while the other prefers isolation rather than rallying…

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