In the Joissains family, I would like the daughter, Sophie. Scheduled for this Friday, the municipal council of Aix-en-Provence should see at its head the daughter, Sophie Joissains (UDI), succeed her mother, Maryse Joissains (LR), reelected last June. She herself was elected mayor in 2001, two decades after her husband, Alain, who held this position from 1978 to 1983, before being sentenced to two years in prison for “concealment of abuse of social property”.
At 79, overcome by illness, Maryse Joissains resigned at the beginning of September for health reasons, while a sentence of ineligibility for illegal taking of interests awaits her very likely, in a procedure started in 2014. A conviction pronounced on appeal in 2019, then renewed in December 2020 after an annulment on the form, and for which it has exhausted all possible legal remedies while the Court of Cassation should render its final judgment in the coming weeks.
Opposition denounces “masquerade”
Obviously, faced with this transfer of power, Sophie Joissains being the only candidate, the opposition grinds its teeth, starting with Anne-Laurence Petel, president of the Aix au cœur opposition group, and also LREM deputy. “What will happen on Friday is a masquerade,” denounces Anne-Laurence Petel. “Maryse knew the sword of Judicial Damocles hanging over her head, she wanted to give the mayor’s chair to her daughter,” she said. “Otherwise, Sophie would have been presented in 2020,” she adds.
In other words, a skillfully prepared succession. Analysis to which Cyril Di Méo subscribes, elected opposition PS from the Aix en division group. “They are very strong. I’ve been trying to get rid of them for 20 years, ”concedes the municipal councilor, already elected from the opposition between 2001-2008, before returning in 2020. Marc Pena, president of the Aix en sharing group pushes a little further. “By invoking her state of health, which has undoubtedly deteriorated, Maryse Joissains disconnects her resignation from the court decision and offers her daughter a political virginity”.
“It’s just rushed, I had planned to present myself in 2026”
Sophie Joissains is not, however, a newcomer to politics. Among others, senator from 2008 to 2020, elected regional councilor on Renaud Muselier’s list last June, elected on his mother’s list in 2008, the opposition essentially accuses him of never having “put his head on the block electoral ”and“ won an election on his first name ”. She disputes any “succession”. “That’s just hasty, I had planned to run in 2026,” says Sophie Joissains who does not plan to reconvene elections. An eventuality that would not have displeased Anne-Laurence Petel. LREM, which won the two Aix cantons in the departmental elections last June, visibly has a certain electoral base in Aix and had lost the municipal elections, ahead of 10 points by the list of Maryse Joissains in a triangular.
She even seeks to provoke him, weighing the resignation of the nine elected members of her group. But even if the six elected members of the left-wing opposition did the same, which they are not yet ready for without defection in the majority, it would still be missing four resigners to cause the dissolution of the council and force new elections. And finding four slingers in the majority is highly unlikely. “All those who opposed the Joissains in the majority were ostracized,” observes Anne-Laurence Petel. Stéphane Salord in 2009, François-Xavier De Perreti, in 2014, two former assistants of Maryse Joissains, attempted the adventure respectively in 2009 and 2014. “Their heads lie in the political gutter”, judge Cyril Di Méo.
“There are many families of bakers or doctors”
Friday, the opposition should, failing to see heads falling, not take part in the municipal council vote, or even, for some of its members, leave the meeting. Not enough to raise eyebrows Sophie Joissains, brought up at a good school. “The opposition is opposed, it is its role. It seems to me to be completely democratic ”launches the one who, barring an improbable twist, should occupy from Friday the chair which was for a time that of her father and mother. “There are many families of bakers or doctors, it is not uncommon for families, even in politics, to follow the same professional environment,” she concludes.