LR presidential candidates opposed to any alliance with the far right

The deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti and the senator of Vendée Bruno Retailleau, candidates for the presidency of the Les Républicains party, at the youth campus of the party, in Angers, on September 5, 2022.

“The union of the rights”: the expression, each time it is mentioned, thrills within the Les Républicains (LR) party. Wanted by many far-right figures, such as the unsuccessful presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, this alliance project has, for the moment, always been rejected by the Republican right, at least at the national level. The dike erected in France has not yet fallen, despite the inexorable loss of political space by LR, on the one hand, and the rise in power of the National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen, of the 'other.

Elsewhere in Europe, however, the classic right does not seem to have the same modesty. In Sweden, at the end of the summer, and very probably in Italy, after the legislative election which will take place on September 25, the formations equivalent to LR in these two countries have forged alliances with the far right, in order to gain power.

A situation that could end up finding an echo in France? At a time when the Republican right must choose a new party president, some executives, internally, fear that one of the candidates, the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Eric Ciotti, will be tempted by such a marriage. This hypothesis is even regularly mentioned by the detractors of this supporter of a hard right line. Which imagine an explosion of the party if Mr. Ciotti were to be elected by the members, during the congress of LR, at the beginning of December, and that such a union took place. The elected representative of the Alpes-Maritimes, they recall, has he not already announced his preference for Eric Zemmour, in the event of a duel against Emmanuel Macron? Basically, isn't he already speaking the same language as the far right, when he calls for a “French Guantanamo” ?

“A very bad calculation”

When questioned, Mr. Ciotti nevertheless brushes aside these fears. "An alliance with the National Rally would amount to a suffocation of the right, which would lead to its disappearance", he says. In his eyes, such a marriage would not even come under “the political alliance but of the takeover of one party over another”. "To say that there is too much immigration is not to be aligned with Marine Le Pen"wants to believe Mr. Ciotti. "Or else, Gérald Darmanin, who considers him soft, is also in the same case"according to him.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers For Emmanuel Macron, the fear of seeing the far right succeed him

Beyond the simple case of Eric Ciotti, in fact, there are many similarities in the public expressions between LR figures and the far right on sovereign issues, security and immigration. Conspiratorial concept of “great replacement”, quotas for the number of immigrants, direct link between delinquency and immigration… These themes are taken up regularly, here and there, by the right.

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