Exit the primary! The Republicans party will nominate its presidential candidate by a vote of its only members, party president Christian Jacob announced on Saturday.
LR members were called upon to vote electronically since Friday evening. Nearly six out of ten voters preferred the option of a two-round congress. The participation rate reached 50.28% of the vote.
“This is good news, it allows December 4 that the debate is closed” and that the right is “united behind a candidate for union”, welcomed Christian Jacob.
The vote concerned a modification of the statutes, which since 2015 provided for a primary. But the experience left a bitter taste in 2016, eliminating Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round, and exacerbating tensions until the failure of François Fillon in the presidential election.
This Saturday, the Republicans have chosen to reserve the vote only to members of LR “up to date of contribution fifteen days before the poll”, which will take place in two rounds. An expected choice, given the reluctance for the primary displayed by the activists in the vast survey published Wednesday by LR.
The door open to Xavier Bertrand
This option opens the door to the participation of Xavier Bertrand, leading the polls without crushing the match, and who would be “ready to submit” to a congress even if he refuses a primary, according to Christian Jacob.
This congress will be set up under the leadership of an organizing committee comprising “a representative of each of the candidates”. For the moment are declared Valérie Pécresse (ex-LR) and Michel Barnier, supporters of an open primary, as well as Eric Ciotti and Philippe Juvin. “It’s up to them to formulate” their request, said Christian Jacob.
The candidates will have to recognize themselves “in the values of the right and the center”, and to have collected “at least 250 sponsorships of elected officials” supported by LR. A control body will be created to verify “the admissibility of applications” with regard in particular to “their compatibility” with these values.
Another innovation, LR will have a “prevention procedure” to be able to disconnect the candidate if he “cannot, for whatever reason”, stay in the race. The idea is to avoid a crash similar to that of François Fillon in 2017.