(Paris) Nicolas Sarkozy finally came out of his silence on Tuesday, to unsurprisingly support Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election, calling for a rally around the candidate president who could accelerate the recomposition of the right.
Posted at 6:37
Updated at 8:25 a.m.
“I will vote for Emmanuel Macron,” said the former head of state on Facebook, who had not supported LR candidate Valérie Pécresse in the first round, to the chagrin of the party he had created.
“I thank him for his confidence and his support”, “it honors me and it obliges me”, reacted Tuesday noon Emmanuel Macron, during a trip to Mulhouse, saying he thinks “that we must bring together very widely”.
To justify his decision, Nicolas Sarkozy goes further than the call for a dam against the far right and invokes substantive reasons, emphasizing “loyalty to the values of the Republican right” and “the valuation of work” by the president outgoing, as well as its “clear and unambiguous” European commitment.
This loyalty to right-wing values and “to our culture of government” must, according to him, “lead us to respond to the call for Emmanuel Macron’s rally in view of the presidential election”.
A clear allusion to “political overrun”, mentioned in early April by Emmanuel Macron.
“A new era is coming”, which “will require profound changes”, further affirms Nicolas Sarkozy, believing that “it will be necessary to get out of habits and partisan reflexes”.
Several media had mentioned in recent weeks the desire of Nicolas Sarkozy to negotiate a coalition with Emmanuel Macron, passing through a certain number of deputies, even a post of prime minister, even if the calamitous score (4.78%) of LR in the first round of the presidential election considerably weakens the bargaining power of the right.
Although expected, this very detailed position on the merits is a paving stone in the pond of the Republicans, who hammered Monday to be “fungible neither in macronism nor in lepenism”.
“This does not change anything on the decision of the political bureau voted yesterday”, commented soberly in the entourage of President Christian Jacob.
“It’s going to rock”
But some do not hide their bitterness.
“We will not rebuild the right by diluting ourselves in macronism. We will rebuild on loyalty to our convictions, ”said the boss of senators LR Bruno Retailleau on Twitter, speaking of Nicolas Sarkozy’s “personal position” which is “not that of our political family”.
The gap between Nicolas Sarkozy and LR continued to widen during the presidential campaign where he never supported Valérie Pécresse.
According to comments reported in the press, the former head of state, who cultivates a closeness with Emmanuel Macron, was very harsh towards Mr.me Pécresse: “non-existent”, “Valérie didn’t understand anything”, “she would be well advised to quote me”…
The LRs, who still swore at the start of the year their confidence in the loyalty of the former head of state, had ended up giving up all hope of support. “I trace my route”, repeated with fatalism Valérie Pécresse whose name does not appear Tuesday in the text of Mr. Sarkozy.
The break was publicly consummated at the last Parisian meeting of the candidate, when the name of Nicolas Sarkozy was hissed and booed by part of the public.
“I waited a lot for Nicolas Sarkozy to come and help us when Valérie Pécresse was in difficulty. He comes out of silence to explain to us that he wants a big recomposition with En Marche, the answer is no, ”said sovereignist deputy Julien Aubert on BFMTV.
But the temptation could be great among LR deputies worried about their re-election in the June legislative elections, or in the moderate wing of the party, part of which has already left for Macron or the Horizons party of Édouard Philippe.
“The hypothesis will have to be on the table, it will rock,” said a deputy, according to whom around twenty deputies were in favor of a form of coalition before the presidential election.
As of Tuesday, the deputy of Yonne Guillaume Larrivé estimated that Nicolas Sarkozy was “right to commit with force and clarity” for Emmanuel Macron because “it is the only choice in accordance with the national interest”.
Sunday evening Jean-François Copé had pleaded for Emmanuel Macron to “associate” the right with a “government pact”.