Within the Les Républicains party, Eric Ciotti tries to maintain a fragile unity


Bruno Retailleau, Gérard Larcher and Eric Ciotti, on the occasion of the presentation of the wishes for 2023 of the Les Républicains party, in Paris, January 24, 2023.

During his wishes for 2023, Tuesday January 24, Eric Ciotti did not have a word for the socialists. Logical, even if the new president of the Les Républicains (LR) party could have thanked the other major government formation for occupying the media field by counting and recounting the ballots obtained by Olivier Faure and Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol during the internal ballot of January 19.

When the mayor of 7e district of Paris, Rachida Dati, advises with a big smile to the journalists present to write rather on the misfortunes of the PS, other members of the new direction of LR exhume the always useful expression “When I look I am sorry, when I compare myself I console myself”. More than nine months later, Valérie Pécresse’s 4.78% in the first round of the last presidential election still hurts, and it’s good to take some consolation…

Promised, the tensions between Eric Ciotti and the senator of Vendée Bruno Retailleau, his unfortunate opponent from December 2022 at the LR congress, therefore belong to the past. A fresh past, of course. After days of cuddle therapy with the “retaillists” on the part of the president of the party, the peace of the brave was ratified Tuesday morning in the office of the president (LR) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher. “To be honest, I was surprised by Bruno Retailleau’s reaction last week, admits Eric Pauget, deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes and old companion of the boss of LR. Since his election, Eric Ciotti has not stopped discussing with [le vice-président de LR] Aurélien Pradié and him, in particular on the theme of pensions. In the organization chart, we found most of their relatives. »

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But the account was not there for Mr. Retailleau and his relatives, poorly served to their liking in the new organization chart. “Our agreements are not respected. I regret. Trust is the essential prerequisite for unity. he lamented, on January 18, in a message on Twitter, the new management barely unveiled.

Since his 46.3% on December 11, 2022, the leader of the LR senators no longer hesitates to show his muscles and he forces his courteous nature. According to his supporters, it is not a question of asking for a few rattles but of “respect and trust”. “It is above all a small misunderstanding at first and it remains anecdotal, wants to believe the young spokesman of the party, Guilhem Carayon. We are coming to a point in our history where we are too weak to divide. »

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