A Republican front was born in Perpignan for the second round of municipal elections. Ecologist Agnès Langevine and hiker Romain Grau, who arrived 3rd and 4th in the first round, paved the way for a new duel between Louis Aliot (RN) and outgoing mayor, Jean-Marc Pujol (LR).
The second round of the municipal elections, held on June 28, takes the form of a Republican front to the far right in Perpignan, in southern France. After the LREM candidate on Thursday withdrew to the second round, the environmental candidate threw in the towel on Saturday 30 May.
Neither Agnès Langevine, Vice Chairman of the Occitanie Regional Council, nor Romain Grau, Deputy and Comrade in the promotion of Emmanuel Macron at ENA, could not hope to catch up with the national rally, Louis Aliot (35.6%) and the outgoing Mayor Jean- Marc Pujol (18.5%). And a triangular, even square, would have benefited the right supreme candidate.
On Saturday morning, the environmental candidate (14.5% of the vote) threw the towel by invoking “a Republican public health duty”, in a statement sent to AFP. “I urge all voters to use their vote to definitively limit the aspirations of the candidate for the National Rally and to vote for the list that remains opposite him,” she said.
>> To read: Municipales 2020: in Perpignan the temptation of Louis Aliot or “the election despite”
And the ecologist adds: “I’m afraid to see Perpignanais.es direct their anger and their rage at a deadly choice. That of the city’s decline, the withdrawal of identity and the elimination of hatred.”
“Fragile Republican Front”
On Thursday, the candidate LREM Romain Grau (13% in the first round) had abstained, a “Republican withdrawal” which also aimed to prevent the Lepéniste Party from seizing the city’s town hall with 120,000 residents.
The head of En Marche, Stanislas Guerini, welcomed the decision. “Giving up campaigns is a difficult decision, but our line is clear: we will never be the footsteps of the UN,” he had responded. However, a candidate on the LREM list in Perpignan has decided to support Louis Aliot.
“On the way to a fragile Republican front,” headlined local newspaper L’Indépendant, highlighting the gap in the first round between Aliot and Pujol.
In 2014, after a tough first round (34% for Aliot, 30.5% for Pujol), Mayor LR had clearly beaten the lebenist candidate in the second round (55% -45%), thanks to the PS candidate’s and withdrawal’s good reporting of votes from other lists.
Jean-Marc Pujol, a 71-year-old lawyer, has been a city councilman since 1989 and mayor since 2009, when he succeeded his mentor Jean-Paul Alduy. His score in the first round (18.5%) is low for an outgoing mayor, but this pugnacious pied-noir is ready to fight.
Participation of 40% in the first round
Louis Aliot made fun of these withdrawals and saw in them “a fraud that allows a failed and corrupt system to remain in place”.
This 50-year-old lawyer behind RN’s more moderate line thinks that this time the voters will not follow. “It is not easy to make a toxic anti-Pujol campaign and then withdraw and call to vote for him. The Republican fronts’ automatism has stopped working since I was elected as an alternate (2017),” he told AFP.
After three adversities at the municipal level, Louis Aliot has never been so close to winning the stake in Perpignan, 12 years after its establishment in the Catalan city.
Despite the calls to vote against him, the former companion to Marine Le Pen is optimistic: “It will no longer be the refusal last time. He has 32 points to go back and we siphoned off some of his voters … People in The perpignan used to vote in my favor, people know me. “
For him, the only uncertainty concerns participation. “This is the issue of the campaign. We do not measure very well whether people will travel to vote or not.” In the first round, only 26,000 voters out of 66,000 registered went to the polls, an exceptionally low turnout of 40%.