“Every time I come back, there are always more people”, rejoiced Jordan Bardella, in front of an audience of activists, Thursday, December 7, during a public meeting held in a hotel in Gosier, Guadeloupe. Visiting the Antilles since Tuesday, as part of the campaign for the European elections in June 2024, the president of the National Rally (RN) came to mobilize his troops in a territory that he considers to be “a land of the future for ideas” of his party.
Even if, locally, the key to elections remains abstention. It’s even “our main adversary”, warned André Rougé, MEP and national overseas delegate of the far-right party. In the Antilles, it came close to 85% in the last European elections, in 2019, yet putting the RN list at the top of the ballot. Same scenario during the last presidential elections in 2022: Martinique gave 60.8% of the votes to Marine Le Pen during the second round, when Guadeloupe gave her her best score, with 69.6%.
During the presidential campaign, in March 2022, Marine Le Pen had, however, suffered a series of scandals in this department and had seen the recording of an interview disrupted at her hotel by nationalist movements. Longer ago, in 1987, his father had not even been able to set foot on West Indian soil, prevented by a popular movement, outraged by the presence of a far-right party.
“We are at home here”
“Imagine how far we have come! »exclaimed the leader of the RN during his speech. “To those who told us we were not welcome, we remind ourselves that we are at home here”, he added. Reference to the various press releases sent during the day by several organizations of political opponents, such as the Socialist Party (PS) or even parties and groups of the autonomist and independence movements. The latter castigated “ [l’]racist and xenophobic ideology » of the RN, when the PS contests its social discourse, judging that the party’s positions in the French and European Parliaments say the opposite. In their eyes, the fact that Mr. Bardella’s meetings were organized somewhat on the sly proves that the president of the RN was not welcome.
The visit in fact remained discreet. “There was no need to mobilize activists in the middle of the week for a welcome at the airport”, justifies Rody Toly, headliner of the Guadeloupean RN, shrugging his shoulders. The program of the stay, without being hidden, was timidly confined to insider circles. No major meetings with the population in various walks, only meetings with activists to remind them of the need to win over voters.
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