It is both a defeat and a humiliation. Having finished third in the Right's primary election on Sunday to choose a presidential candidate for 2017 and thus eliminated from the race, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has seen his political strategy torn to pieces. He has, in effect, been sacked by his own electorate. The unprecedented democratic election on the Right has instead witnessed the victory of hardline conservative and former prime minister François Fillon. Mediapart's editor François Bonnet analyses what led to a tumultuous night in French politics that now seems certain to mark the end of Sarkozy's political career.
Former French prime minister François Fillon, previously trailing in the conservative opposition party's primaries to elect it candidate for presidential elections next spring, has suddenly taken a neck-and-neck position against his two main rivals, Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé, before voting begins on Sunday.
The main conservative opposition party's primaries to choose its candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, which begin Sunday evening amid more than usual interest because of the liklihood that the person chosen will reach the decisive second round next spring, is now a tight three-horse race.
A spokesman for the conservative frontrunner candidate for the 2017 presidential elections, Alain Juppé, has said the UK border post in Calais will, if he becomes president, be closed as an 'uncomfortable consequence' of Brexit.
The veteran French conservative Alain Juppé, who is currently favourite for his party's nomination to run as presidential candidate in elections next year, has said France can no longer tolerate the situation in Calais where thousands of migrants hoping to enter the UK are stranded, and called for Le Touquet agreement to be scrapped.
An opinion survey following Thursday's live TV debate between the seven rivals to become France's conservative opposition party's candidate in next year's presidential elections gave former prime minister Alain Juppé a significant lead over second-placed Nicolas Sarkozy.
The seven rivals in the race to become the presidential candidate for the mainstream right-wing opposition party Les Républicains in elections next April take to the stage Thursday for their first live TV debate, with opinion surveys indicating that former president Nicolas Sarkozy lags behind veteran Gaullist Alain Juppé.
For a long time Nicolas Sarkozy's former allies avoided personal attacks on the former president, even after they had become his political adversaries in the contest to choose the Right's presidential candidate for 2017. Now, however, the gloves are off and some on the Right are openly talking about the string of political and financial scandals in which the ex-president is currently embroiled. For the first time, report Ellen Salvi and Mathilde Mathieu, Sarkozy now looks politically vulnerable to the sheer weight of the scandals and criticism bearing down on him.
Alain Juppé, the leading contender for conservative Les Républicains party primaries, launched his campaign Saturday with a meeting in which he proposed a more conciliatory tone towards French Muslims.
Marine Le Pen, the head of France's far-right Front National has predictably welcomed Britain's vote to leave the European Union and has promised the French people a similar 'in-out' referendum if she is elected president. However, the idea of holding some form of referendum is also now gaining ground among presidential hopefuls on the mainstream Right, even if they are unwilling to give voters a straight choice between staying in or leaving the institution that France helped found. Aurélie Delmas reports on how the French Right is now extolling the virtues of national sovereignty in the wake of the Brexit vote.
France’s conservative opposition party, Les Républicains, is gearing up for its primary elections in November. These will decide who will be the party’s candidate in presidential elections to held in May next year. There are 12 declared runners for the party’s nomination, with widely varying chances of success, and one notable as-yet undeclared candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, but who is certain to join the race. Aurélie Delmas looks at the policy propositions from the front runners, who all promise an undiluted dose of neoliberalism, spelling attacks on public sector workers, the middle classes and those who depend on welfare benefits.
by Aurélie Delmas
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