Xavier Bertrand is warned. The LR mayor of Antibes Jean Leonetti, responsible for reflecting on the choice of right-wing presidential candidates, assures us that “there will be a primary”. In an interview with Figaro published Tuesday, it especially warns the president of Hauts-de-France.
“There will be a primary, whether it is open to activists and sympathizers or limited to activists only,” he says. If Xavier Bertrand “refuses it, he will appear as a dissenting candidacy”.
“Convince” Xavier Bertrand
Jean Leonetti, however, does not close the door to “dialogue with Xavier Bertrand”. Indeed, it is according to him important to “convince him to participate in the common procedure”, he adds, assuring that “we are always ready to discuss with him the modalities”.
It remains to be seen what form this primary will take. According to Jean Leonetti, a “totally open” primary, as it appears in the LR statutes, “can no longer take place”. But conversely “nobody imagines that a small political office can appoint a candidate on its own”. He therefore pleads “for a primary semi-open to activists and sympathizers”, which offers a stronger base and “creates a campaign dynamic around the candidate”. The certain thing is that “nothing is decided” today. For example, it is possible to “consider a participation of around 2 euros for all voters”, as well as the entry “in a file on which our candidate can rely during the campaign”.
A leadership hostile to the primary
While the direction of LR is hostile to the idea of a primary, the mayor of Antibes takes care to specify that “the militants will have the last word” on September 25, in congress. LR’s strategic council met on Tuesday morning around this issue and must meet next week, before a political office which will endorse the terms of the text submitted to the activists. The party will have chosen its candidate “before the end of the year”, finally assures Jean Leonetti.