Nimes (AFP)

Xavier Bertrand, ex-LR candidate in the presidential election, offered his former party on Friday a pact of "dialogue" and "respect", even if he still refuses to comply with a primary.

"I have come to tell you how we are going to win this election", launched the president of Hauts-de-France during the LR parliamentary days in Nîmes.

"I have a duty to win, I have no right to lose," added Mr. Bertrand, the best placed on the right in the polls even if his lead over Valérie Pécresse (ex-LR) is has been reduced in recent weeks.

"I cannot imagine for a single moment winning this election without the support, without the help of my political family", in which "I have no opponent", he said, promising that "LR will be the large majority of (his) majority ".

Symbol of this displayed harmony, a photograph of Thursday evening's dinner was widely distributed on Twitter, bringing together around the same table the five presidential candidates: Valérie Pécresse, Michel Barnier, Eric Ciotti and Philippe Juvin, who accept the principle of the primary and intervened Thursday in Nimes, and Xavier Bertrand.

"The beginnings of a common candidacy were thrown yesterday", welcomed the boss of deputies LR Damien Abad.

This evening "was a marker of an important step", insisted Xavier Bertrand, because "we spoke and beyond the positions, we realized that it is the same family".

In this logic he proposed three commitments: "that we dialogue together and that we see each other", then "that we respect each other at all times and that we never attack each other".

Finally, we must "work together around the project led by Les Républicains", whose framework is according to him "clearly what the French expect".

The president of Hauts-de-France, however, reiterated his opposition to the primary, a "dividing machine" because "we are looking for differences which become oppositions and this complicates the moment of sincere gathering".

LR must decide on September 25 on the method of appointing his candidate.

Xavier Bertrand also defended the three axes of his campaign: "restoration of authority, establishment of a labor society and republic of the territories".

© 2021 AFP