The possible alliance with Le Pen puts the traditional French right on the brink of split | European elections 2024 | News

The moderate right of the Republicans (LR), greatly weakened after seven years of Emmanuel Macron in the Elysée Palace, is on the verge of an explosion. The decision of its president, Éric Ciotti, to seek an alliance with the far right the early parliamentary elections of June 30 and July 7 has led to an uprising among the other leaders of (LR), a sister party in France of the Spanish PP.

Ciotti announced on Tuesday his intention to conclude a pact between LR and Marine Le Pen's National Regroupment (RN). The leader of the right has justified this step, which would definitively blow up decades of cordon sanitary against the far right, because of the danger it poses, in his opinion, to France and a left-wing alliance such as President Emmanuel Macron's centrist bloc.

“Today the Republicans are too weak to oppose two blocs that are too dangerous,” the LR president said in an interview with the TF1 network. “We need an alliance [con el RN] remain ourselves.” With this alliance, Ciotti wants to guarantee the re-election of his party's 61 current deputies thanks to the support of the RN; In return, LR should support RN candidates in other constituencies so that they do not compete with each other.

LR, the heir of the RPR and the UMP of presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, claims for itself the legacy of Gaullism. The National Regroupment (RN) is the heir of an old ultra party, founded by people who fought against De Gaulle, sometimes violently, and in some cases collaborated with Nazi Germany.

In statements to the French news agency, Le Pen celebrated Ciotti's “brave decision” and “his sense of responsibility.” He added that “40 years of pseudo-cordon sanitary, which has caused many elections to be lost, is disappearing.” A coalition with LR, or with what is left of this party, would be a new step in the normalization process of the National Regroupment.

By dissolving the National Assembly after Le Pen's victory in Sunday's European elections, and calling parliamentary elections three weeks later, Macron could accelerate the process of dissolving the old political order. Your bet is to catch before the call middle block for those who, on both the moderate left and the moderate right, are opposed to pacts with either extreme.

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If LR splits between supporters and opponents of the agreement with the far right, the dissidents could join Macronism, which already has prominent former leaders of this party in its ranks. One of them is the current Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who did not hesitate to refer to the pacts of the 1930s with Hitler, stating: “Éric Ciotti signs the Munich agreements and brings dishonor to the Gaullist family by embracing Marine Le Pen. Shame! “French, let's wake up!”

Another former Republican and now Macronist, the current Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, urged with another word that refers to the time of the German occupation: “Let us give place in our majority to all elected officials and LR militants who “reject cooperation.”

Ciotti's announcement has angered many leaders of his party, who believe an alliance with the RN is a betrayal of their principles. 22 years ago, Chirac refused a televised debate about Jean-Marie Le Pen; Now his heirs are seeking a coalition with his daughter.

Olivier Marleix, head of the parliamentary group in the National Assembly, responded: “Éric Ciotti only speaks for himself. He must give up the Republican presidency.” The president of the Senate, fellow Republican Gérard Larcher, called for Ciotti's resignation. Some senators announced they were leaving the party.

Ciotti, faced with criticism from his co-religionists, defended: “There is a huge distance between what is heard in Paris, the discussions of the General Staff [de los partidos] quite disconnected from reality, and the basis that tells me in my city, Nice, or in other places: 'Agree'.”

The LR split, if it were to occur, would mark the culmination of a demolition process that began in 2017, when Macron, after winning his first elections, launched a takeover bid for this party and brought figures such as Le Maire and Darmanin into his government recorded. Later he governed, occupying the space of the centre-right and cannibalizing this political space bit by bit.

In the 2017 presidential election, the LR candidate, François Fillon, obtained 20% of the vote, although he did not qualify for the second round. In the 2022 elections, candidate Valérie Pécresse dropped to 4.8%. This party, which was the hegemon in France for decades together with the Socialists, today forms the fourth group of deputies in the National Assembly.

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