Xavier Bertrand, candidate in a hurry.



  • Xavier Bertrand confirmed it once and for all on Wednesday, he will be a presidential candidate in 2022, and will not participate in a right-wing primary.

  • The announcement of the former member of the Republicans reacted to his rivals, who are worried about seeing the primary buried.

  • The party leadership rather welcomes Xavier Bertrand's approach, and maintains its calendar which provides for appointing a "natural candidate" in the fall, or failing to choose a "method of deciding" candidates.

It's anything but a surprise, but Xavier Bertrand's approach disrupts the Republicans' calendar.

By formalizing on Wednesday his choice to be a candidate for the presidential election in 2022, without participating in a possible primary, and without appearing in the colors of the party he left, the president of the Hauts-de-France region has caught off guard his potential right-wing rivals in the race for the Elysee Palace.

Supporters of a primary fought back on Thursday, while the party leadership is procrastinating.

An early announcement?

“I no longer wish to subscribe to the logic of a single party.

I will not participate in a primary ", explains Xavier Bertrand to the weekly

Le Point

, Wednesday, announcing that he is running for the Elysee.

If the announcement did not surprise, the moment surprised.

Because the former Minister of Health has chosen to confirm his candidacy in the midst of an epidemic revival, while the leadership of the Republicans noted last December that it would wait for the fall of 2021 to appoint its champion for the Elysee Palace.

“As a general rule, those who made our political family win the presidential election declare themselves in November, and the votes crystallize at the end of February, the beginning of March.

Xavier made the choice to announce his candidacy earlier ”, notes, impassive, Christian Jacob, boss of the Republicans.

“Obviously, his objective is to put pressure on the party,” blows an LR executive.

“He replayed a bit what Sarkozy had done in 2007, by firing on all cylinders.

Xavier forces the other candidates on the right to position themselves in relation to him.


Rivals who don't want to bury the primary

Chance of the calendar?

On the same day as Xavier Bertrand's announcement, two other potential rivals said they were ready for the presidential election.

Former Brexit negotiator for the European Union Michel Barnier told the Ebra press group that he has “the strength” to embark on a campaign.

Meanwhile, Laurent Wauquiez, campaigning for his re-election at the head of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, told the Parisian

that he "does not want to be a spectator" of the political future.

This Thursday, Bruno Retailleau reacted and assured that the primary of the right “will take place”, on the air of Sud Radio.

To decide between the right-wing candidates, “you have to vote well […].

Democracy is voting: do not be afraid of it, ”launched the boss of senators LR, candidate for this primary.

Sunday, the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, also ex-LR, spoke out for “the most open primary possible” on RadioJ.

A delicate decision for the head of LR

Will the party organize this primary while Xavier Bertrand excludes participating?

Maintaining it would be risky, while the president of Hauts-de-France is currently according to the polls the best-rated candidate on the right.

But burying it "risks being delicate", concedes a framework, "vis-à-vis other tenors, and especially Bruno Retailleau".

"We have no interest in having dissenting candidacies, which would cost us one or two points and risk losing the right's place in the second round," warns Virginie Duby-Muller, LR deputy for Haute-Savoie and vice-president. president of the movement.

Seeing a candidate win "naturally" is the best option according to her: "Many of us had a bad experience in the primary in 2016, which created stables and left traces in our family.


Jacob keeps his calendar

The party leadership therefore seems to take a positive view of Xavier Bertrand's candidacy, like Guillaume Peltier who hailed his "courageous statement" on Twitter.

In February, another vice-president of the party confided to

20 Minutes

that the president of Hauts-de-France was his favorite for the presidential election.

Our dossier on the 2022 presidential election

But the official line remains that "adopted unanimously" by the party office last December, recalls Christian Jacob.

“After the regional, we will look at a congress at the start of the school year if a candidate is naturally needed.

If this is not the case, we will have to think about a way of deciding, ”explains the deputy for Seine-et-Marne.

"It is up to Xavier Bertrand to reach out to the other candidates, to bring together our political family," said Virginie Duby-Muller.

Before that, the former insurer will have to win the regional election in his stronghold, if he wants to continue his presidential momentum.


Regional in Hauts-de-France: All the left will start united from the first round


Presidential 2022: On the right, Xavier Bertrand tries to impose himself as an anti-Macron

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