Éric Ciotti introduces his team at LR, Retailleau is not pleased

CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/AFP Éric Ciotti and Bruno Retailleau during a big LR raout on September 17, 2022.


Éric Ciotti and Bruno Retailleau during a big LR raout on September 17, 2022.

POLITICS – Barely revealed immediately criticized. Elected in December chairman of the Republican Party, Éric Ciotti announced Wednesday 18 January that his team was presented as a “meeting”, specifically with two executive vice presidents, Aurélien Pradié and François-Xavier Bellamy. But not to the taste of Bruno Retailleau, his former opponent.

“I want this management team to be (…) a reflection of the unity that is being rediscovered”explained on Wednesday to Figaro the new president, who was elected in the second round against Bruno Retailleau with 54% of the vote, the measured success forced him to find a clever balance so that all forces were represented.

Lot representative Aurélien Pradié had garnered 22% of the vote in the first round by promoting a “popular right”. MEP François-Xavier Bellamy is close to Bruno Retailleau, an election finalist with renewal promises that convinced 46% of members in the second round.

Bruno Retailleau himself refused anything “main responsibility” to “focus on leading groups in the Senate”according to Eric Ciotti.

But the senator from the Vendée reacted briefly to the announcement of this organizational chart during the night, remembering this “does not take into account the balance resulting from the vote”. “Our agreement was not respected. I regret. Trust is an important prerequisite for unity”he added on Twitter.

According to someone close to Bruno Retaileau, “In the agreement there is the position of Deputy Secretary General Othman Nassrou” who became the spokesperson for the campaign “but we found that it was diluted in the middle of the other three”. Also, elected “what appears in various places in the body no longer appears there”.

Notes in the organizational chart broadcast by LR at night, Rachida Dati promotion, “undoubtedly the most popular figure in our current political family”, at the chairman of the national council. Former minister Sarkozy, who warmly welcomed Eric Ciotti in Paris during the campaign, “also fulfills the wish to see us conquer the capital”What “would be a big step towards national victory”insists party president He also defends Éric Ciotti, reminds Bruno Retailleau in music that despite their differences, “we are Family”.

“shadow cabinet”

Annie Genevard, who has acted as interim chair of the LR, will become the party’s general secretary and former European negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, will be in charge of international relations. As for Alpes-Maritimes deputy Michèle Tabarot, a close friend of the new president, will chair the national commission of investiture, a strategic position so far held by Éric Ciotti.

The strategic committee will continue to integrate “big figure” parties such as Laurent Wauquiez, Xavier Bertrand or Valérie Pécresse, as well as, on the parliamentary side, Gérard Larcher, Bruno Retailleau and Olivier Marleix.

Éric Ciotti intends to point “in the coming days” a “shadow cabinet” (government transfers) of about twenty members. “We are an opposition party with the aim of being a government and a right-wing party again”convinced the new boss LR, for whom “we are not meant to be helpers of a power that is about to end”.

In a party struggling with public funds since the disastrous (4.8% of the vote) presidential election, Éric Ciotti also claims, with treasurer Daniel Fasquelle, “open discussion” when changing seats. As for the schedule for determining the prospective LR candidates for the 2027 presidential election, “I will respect Laurent Wauquiez’s choice but I don’t think we should be out of the woods too late”convinced Eric Ciotti.

Republican Party boss reaffirms interest in pension reform, “important to the national interest”. But “we always have requests to improve the situation of young retirees”, he added ahead of the day of mobilization against these reforms. Asked about Gérald Darmanin’s future immigration bill, Éric Ciotti assures us he will vote “against this text” which he describes as “bait” and from “the result of a bad compromise”.

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