Secretary of State for Tourism and Foreign Trade Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, who is running for municipal elections in Biarritz on the outgoing mayor's list, highlighted Friday the anticipation of his involvement in the campaign, facing his colleague at government Didier Guillaume, who formalized his candidacy last Saturday.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Wednesday that it was "not conceivable that two members of the government could be candidates against each other in the long term", in reaction to the announcement by the Minister of Agriculture that he presented a list in Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) opposed to the outgoing mayor Michel Veunac (MoDem).
At the microphones of several local media while he inaugurated the permanence of Mr. Veunac, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne on Friday invoked "the chronology" to implicitly justify his right.
"Things are clear, take the chronology. Since December 3, with many Biarrots, we have been campaigning behind Michel Veunac (...) who is the outgoing mayor of the presidential majority," he said.
"Hopefully common sense prevails ... Me from the start, I acted transparently and I acted in a spirit of responsibility", he insisted, according to a video posted notably on the site of the newspaper Sud Ouest.
At the microphone of France Bleu Pays Basque, the outgoing mayor accused the Minister of Agriculture of having "no particular attachment" to Biarritz and of carrying out an "unfriendly takeover" in his city.
© 2020 AFP