Saturday, January 22

Eric Ciotti, the right assumed to assault the LR investiture

“Clearly on the right”, Eric Ciotti, finalist of the LR nomination for the presidential election, defends ideas of “rupture”, uncompromising on the regal and liberal on the economy, which gave him a dynamic at the end of campaign.

Party as an outsider, the 56-year-old deputy for Alpes-Maritimes created a surprise by finishing the first round in the lead on Wednesday at the LR party congress. He will be opposed to the second to Valérie Pécresse for a verdict expected on Saturday.

“I want to be the candidate who cuts the tap of lukewarm water”, repeats the one who does not “apologize for being on the right” and defends his program combining “authority, identity, freedom”.

“I have the firm conviction that a positioning too centrist, too close to macronism will in no way make it possible to beat the outgoing President of the Republic”, he repeated Wednesday, calling for “resolutely to turn his back on prudence, a source of immobility “.

With his rhetoric of “war of civilization”, this specialist in migration issues, although never a minister, aligns shocking proposals on the regal: national preference on employment and housing, return to blood rights, “French Guantanamo” for the most dangerous Islamists …

In terms of security, the one who wants to make Laurent Wauquiez his Prime Minister promises “automatic minimum sentences” for attackers of the police and advocates real life imprisonment.

With a calm tone and a singing accent, he defends in economic matters a project “inspired by François Fillon”: end of the inheritance tax, “flat tax” of 15%, elimination of 250,000 civil servant positions …

In the shadow of the three favorites, Eric Ciotti took advantage of the televised debates to trigger a positive dynamic, which drew support for him.

Its meetings attract young LR from the radical wing, but also an older audience that the evocation of Emmanuel Macron makes react epidermically.

“We had too many candidates who, through marketing, were vague to please the greatest number,” said Florin, 23, in mid-October. The right “needs this project of rupture” which is “the only differentiator”, abounded Grégoire, 22 years old.

– “Clearly to the right” –

Convinced that “the country has never been so clearly on the right”, very active on social networks, he promised to “create a surprise”, even if his federation of the Alpes-Maritimes is no longer the largest in France (overtaken by Paris during the influx of members in the fall).

This did not prevent it from bringing together 1,300 people in mid-November in Mandelieu-la-Napoule (Alpes-Maritimes), for a show of force two weeks before the congress.

Praising like Michel Barnier his loyalty to LR, Eric Ciotti claims to be “the only one not to have voted for Emmanuel Macron” in the second round of the 2017 presidential election.

In the event of a second round Zemmour-Macron, he would also choose the polemicist who “draws up a lucid observation of the French decline”, he assured Wednesday, making kick in his own camp.

“Happy, dear Eric, to see our ideas so widely shared by LR activists. The RPR is not dead”, congratulated Eric Zemmour.

A mother teacher, a father real estate agent, Eric Ciotti, austere physique, receding hairline and studious glasses, was born September 28, 1965. If he grew up in Nice, he remains a child of the hinterland where he keeps his family ties and was immersed in politics at a very young age. In Vésubie, where his great-uncle took him hunting.

Graduated from Sciences Po Paris in 1988, he abandoned the revisions of the ENA competition to be the parliamentary attaché for Christian Estrosi, then a young deputy.

A southern rival with whom he will end up falling out, before winning his stripes in the National Assembly and at the head of the Alpes-Maritimes department, until he climbed Wednesday in the final of the LR nomination who will decide the identity of the right-wing candidate for 2022.

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