President Franqois Hollande has interfered Wednesday in the campaign for regional elections in France, citing the “defense of the values of the Republic” against the extreme right, a triumph which would strengthen its leader Marine Le Pen in the 2017 presidential .
In a thinly veiled dig at his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy right side of the head of state, quoted by the spokesman of the government, has called “all politicians” to “clarity in attitudes, in behavior, in the choice. ”
“It is also a unifying issue,” said the socialist president, playing the card of national unity that helped restore his popularity since the attacks in Paris (130 dead November 13).
In four days of the second round of the regional, left and right to power the opposition would prevent Sunday unpublished decision of one or more regions of the National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen.
The PS in power withdrew its candidates in favor of the right in key regions likely to switch to the far right. The party Republicans (LR) Nicolas Sarkozy has, under his leadership, however rejected any withdrawal or alliance on the left.
The position of the Socialists is seen by some as a strategy to present François Hollande as the best defense against Marine Le Pen for president in 2017. “The executive plays the next move,” summed up Wednesday left-wing daily Liberation.
The challenge is enormous for regional M. Sarkozy: a victory for the far right may undermine his ambitions for the presidential primary right scheduled for autumn 2016.
Since returning to politics late 2014, the former president (2007-2012) failed in its strategy to stem the FN holding the cape of a straight “uninhibited” link number of elected LR.
Far from the expected tidal wave, the results of the first regional round 6 December were disappointing for Republicans, preceded by the FN.
Sarkozy in a delicate position
Marine Le Pen’s party has registered an unprecedented success, turning the head in six regions on 13 and garnering a national record score of 27.7%.
On Monday, Alain Juppe, Nicolas Sarkozy’s main rival for the primary right, found that Republicans were “more audible” and advocated an aggiornamento – reform or modernization – following regional.
The FN discusses the second round with a solid lead in particular in northern France (Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy) with Marine Le Pen in the southeast (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) with its niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen.
The two women got more than 40% in the first round, well ahead of two former ministers right they meet in Sunday duel after removing the left.
The Navy right arm Le Pen, Florian Philippot, is also in a strong position in Alsace-Champagne-Ardennes-Lorraine (east), in a triangular face to the right and a Socialist candidate came into dissidence against the PS he ignored the withdrawal instruction.
The FN can also pull out of the game in other regions with tight triangular, like Bourgogne Franche-Comté (center-east).
The Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls insisted Wednesday that the left had “no hesitation to have” the right to vote for if duel with the extreme right, denouncing the “hoax” of nationalist and anti-immigrant discourse FN.
“This is a scam, the National Front,” he denounced, targeting its economic proposals such as the exit from the euro, as reported by the employers and the unions, which “would put the country to its knees.”
Nicolas Sarkozy also blasted the “completely inconsistent” program, and Marine Le Pen called on voters not to give their vote to “someone who has no experience that will create disorder, chaos.”
Sign of the delicate situation of the former president, many right list heads refused his coming in their campaign rallies, including Xavier Bertrand, the Marine Le Pen’s opponent in the north.