Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture, December 28, 2019 in Marcon. - SICCOLI PATRICK / SIPA
- Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture, will officially launch his municipal campaign in Biarritz this Saturday, where he will be at the top of the list.
- According to the rule established by the Prime Minister, it is only in the event of victory that he could be brought to resign, if he prefers his mandate of mayor to his ministerial portfolio. There would therefore be no reshuffle before the polls scheduled for March 15 and 22.
- Few ministers are at the head of the municipal list, most prefer not to launch a campaign, and a few will be on the lists, but not in the first position.
It is the end of a false suspense. Didier Guillaume, Minister of Agriculture, will launch his campaign for the municipal election in Biarritz this Saturday, with a meeting in a Basque pelota hall. The former socialist senator hopes to take the town hall of this seaside town of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques from the outgoing mayor, from MoDem. His candidacy raises the question of a possible reshuffle, but also that of the unity of the government, when he will face another member of the government in the ballot boxes.
Which minister will win in Biarritz?
The Biarrot ballot is also a match between members of the government. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, from the right (former member of the Les Républicains party), is on the list of the outgoing mayor, the centrist Michel Veunac. The latter has already joked about the candidacy of Didier Guillaume: "even if it means having a minister in Biarritz, it is better to have that of Tourism than of Agriculture". Will the municipal campaign turn into a fratricidal confrontation?
Visit of the @Lurrama fair in #Biarritz: discussions with farmers, farmers who embody the move upmarket and the quality of local products. #circuitscourts #bio pic.twitter.com/HArrbZieHT- Didier GUILLAUME (@ dguillaume26) November 9, 2019
The entourage of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne wants to minimize the duel: "he is not at the top of the list". But adds that "he will get involved in the municipal campaign, because his life is a little there". The Secretary of State has also shared his wishes from Biarritz, via social networks.
Happy New Year to all of you who make France and its successes!
From Biarritz, a special greeting to French people abroad and to all those involved in diplomacy 🇫🇷, tourism, foreign trade, development and the French-speaking world! # Voeux2020 pic.twitter.com/DLRJY6kqvv
One of his close relations tackles the candidacy of Didier Guillaume: "he comes from Drôme, so if there is one who is uprooted, it is him", he launches in response to the accusations of parachuting of the two ministers on the Basque coast.
Will there be a reshuffle?
A priori no, at least not before March. Didier Guillaume's press secretary denies rumors of the Minister of Agriculture's resignation and recalls that "the Prime Minister's rule was that ministers in the countryside could keep their posts until the elections".
Edouard Philippe has actually decreed that "from January 2020", members of the government can be candidates if they wish. But "when you are a minister you cannot cumulate with the head of a local executive", in other words, in the event of victory, the ministers will have to choose between their town hall and their position in the government. "A reshuffle would only take place in March," said the entourage of a minister.
Pending the ballot, scheduled for March 15 and 22, Didier Guillaume remains in charge of agriculture in the government. "His local campaign is likely to have an impact on his agenda as minister, but I am sure that he will remain very involved on the sites of this beginning of the year, such as the negotiation of the CAP [Common Agricultural Policy]", notes a parliamentarian, an expert on agricultural issues. "In any case, it would not be a good signal to change the Minister of Agriculture now. And then most of the discussions are led by the staff of the cabinet.
Will other ministers be at the top of the list?
The influx of ministers for the municipal in Biarritz does not reflect the rest of the government, where the candidacies are not very numerous. To date, only the Minister of Agriculture has officially declared himself at the top of the list. Two right-wing defector ministers, Gérald Darmanin (Action and public accounts) and Sébastien Lecornu (Territorial cohesion) will be candidates for Tourcoing (North) and Verdon (Eure) respectively, but they have not yet revealed whether they will take it head. Marc Fesneau, Secretary of State in charge of relations with the Parliament, will be on the list in his stronghold of Marchenoir (Loir-et-Cher).
Four other ministers have announced that they will be on lists, according to the weekly Marianne, for a total of eight members of the government officially on campaign. Others can still declare themselves, like Edouard Philippe, who could appear on a list in his fief of Le Havre. On the other hand, several have given up launching this election, like the Secretary of State for Ecology Brune Poirson, approached in Avignon.
Municipal in 2020 in Paris: Edouard Philippe rules out being a candidate in the capital
Municipal 2020 in Bordeaux: The LREM candidate Thomas Cazenave ensures to stand out with his "progressive and centrist vision"