Municipal: imaginary mayors of the National Rally

The far-right party welcomed the election of fifteen mayors on Sunday. Among them, several claim not to have been invested by the RN, while others display vague support. Marine Le Pen acknowledged an “error”.

The National Rally invented victories on the evening of the second round of municipal elections, fictitiously bringing its number of mayors to 15. But two candidates elected on June 28 have since denounced the thing: they were neither invested nor supported by the RN . For others, belonging to the far-right movement seems very distant, and while the method of “supporting” the ex-FN during the election appears questionable, Marine Le Pen spoke of a “Error of the communication service which was based on a tweet from a journalist”.

Poor party result

In an email titled “The glass ceiling is broken!” dated June 30, and sent to its member base, the RN had praised the “Courageous campaign in a difficult health context” of its “New” elected. “Sunday in several cities, during the second round of municipal elections, the French chose to refuse the” republican front “and break the” glass ceiling “”, can we still read it. The text takes up the elements of language repeated by Louis Aliot after his election to the town hall of Perpignan, Sunday. The only major victory of the National Rally, in the 2020 municipal elections with a mediocre result for the party. If he had seven of his ten mayors re-elected in 2014, he halved the number of city councilors, lost Mantes-la-Ville (Yvelines) and Le Luc (Var), winning three cities in the process. Today, there are ten, if we count Robert Ménard, in Béziers.

“Perpignan, Moissac, Bruay-la-Buissières, Bédarrides, Mazan, Morières-lès-Avignon, Brebières, Pia … Everywhere, the new mayors of the National Rally”, is it written in the RN’s mail. With a photo montage showing the future councilors, smiling face. Except that, for at least two cities, in Brebières, in Pas-de-Calais, and in Pia, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, the victories are not those of the ex-FN.

“Communication service error”

A Brebières, candidate Lionel David, whose name does not even appear in the list of candidates published by the movement on March 11, quickly clarified things, in a press release: “We do not accept that a political party in search of publicity [en l’occurrence le RN] unwittingly uses our image to lather. We specifically request that this cease. Our list is by no means an RN list and we do not allow it to be used for promotional purposes. ” As for the candidate of Also (9,000 inhabitants), Jérôme Palmade indicated at the Parisian have not been “Neither invested nor supported by the RN”. “I want the party to admit that he was wrong, especially since he used a photo of my campaign without my authorization”, he said.

Guest of Sud Radio, yesterday morning, Marine Le Pen explained that the error would have come from the communication department of her party. “But listen, it’s nothing, it’s a communication service error that was based on a tweet from a journalist elsewhere”, she explained. “They are wrong, I told them, you must never believe journalists.” The tweet she is talking about, published on the night of June 28-29, attributed victories for the RN to Brebières, and Pia… But also to Mazan, Morières-lès-Avignon, and Bédarrides, cities where the candidates , stamped various right, displayed very little their political color during the campaign, sometimes not at all.

For example, at Morières-lès-Avignon, 8,000 inhabitants (Vaucluse), the outgoing mayor Joël Granier, who was seeking a fourth term, was swept away by Grégoire Souque, a 73-year-old retiree. And the latter told the press that he presented himself without a label, while not having “Never hidden” his membership in the RN, which he requested “support”. No problem: but he says he still has “Not wished to make a list exclusively RN, moreover we are only 3 out of 29, in my list, members of RN”.

“Usurpation total du RN”

The situation is a little more blurred at Mazan (Vaucluse) where appeared for the third consecutive time Louis Bonnet, former UMP, former LR … For these municipal, even more to the right. He has “Open wide his door”, to let two members of Marine Le Pen’s party pass. And, in fact, its diverse right list has also been “supported” by the Marine Party. However, the candidate’s position is not very clear. “When we open, we open”, explained the guy in the Dauphiné Libéré, half-March. He says “share with [ses nouveaux amis] the same observations on the balance sheet of the outgoing mayor and our vision of the village, that is enough for me ”. But when the local LR accused Bonnet of “Cross the red line”, he also replied: “I’m not at RN. If I have to label my list, it is that of civil society. ”

Confused situation, finally, Bédarrides (Vaucluse, 5,000 inhabitants), where it seems, however, that either the voters were deceived, or the RN lied. Elected there June 28, Jean Berard, 55, lawyer “From an old family of winemakers”, a rugby fan, presented himself “without label”. And until Marine Le Pen claimed his victory, he never displayed any acquaintance with the far-right leader, according to local sources. Nothing indicated anywhere that the man had received the label of the populist formation, nor his campaign posters, nor any press article… The name of Jean Berard nevertheless appears on the list of candidates published by the RN, the 11 March. But it is quite possible that nobody knew about it in Bédarrides: when we call the town hall today to ask what is it about, we are told that “It would surprise us that Jean Berard is from the RN”.

Berard recently posted on his Twitter thread a piece of article supposed to explain his approach. But that does not help much: one can read there that he would have benefited from a support of the RN “Without requirement and without obligation to place an RN adviser in the list. We are not stamped RN, it’s more a membership to the program ». Edile outgoing, who had Berard as deputy mayor, Christian Tort speaks of a “Total usurpation of the RN to advertise on the back of the village”. The misunderstanding would come, according to the ENT doctor, who did not represent himself at the town hall, of the fact that Berard was approached at the start of the campaign by the local RN, for support “Who does not commit to anything”, and the man, according to Tort, would have simply replied “why not”. What has a political color to it… Nothing would have followed after this informal discussion, and “Berard never claimed anything”, Tort says, so that neither he, nor any member of his list, was inserted RN on the evening of the second round, June 28. Suddenly, in the end, and even if the village voted overwhelmingly for the far-right party in the elections – there was 62% in the last presidential election – the announcement by Marine Le Pen of an RN victory in Bedarrides, “Surprised everyone” in the village. Even the candidate?