(Paris) Marion Maréchal formalized her rallying to Eric Zemmour on Sunday when Jean-Luc Mélenchon called during an outdoor rally in Lyon for “anti-globalization alliances” outside of NATO, two demonstrations of force to try to relaunch the campaigns of candidates who have been abused since the start of the war in Ukraine.
“I am certain that the political recomposition will happen, I believe victory is possible again”, launched the former FN deputy (now RN) from Vaucluse, 32 years old. Marine Le Pen’s niece was applauded for a long time by the 8,000 supporters of Mr. Zemmour, praising France as the “eldest daughter of the Church”.
In the morning, at the option of the stands of a Provençal market in the Mourillon district, the candidate Reconquête! promised to “come soon” to power to supporters who shouted their impatience at him.
In front of the “L’amalgame” bar, glass of rosé in hand after having chained olives, strawberries and clementines, he especially wanted to put into perspective a persistent drop in the survey, considering that the studies were “very varied”, while a passer-by admitted to appreciating “his outspokenness” despite “a little stiff ideas”.
Presented as a “turning point” in his campaign, the rallying of Mme Maréchal, whose speech followed that of Stéphane Ravier (ex-RN) and Guillaume Peltier (ex-LR), was to illustrate “the union of the rights”.
“The union of the rights? “Questioned Sunday morning on FranceInfo the director of communication of Valérie Pécresse, Geoffroy Didier. “For the moment, Éric Zemmour is achieving only one thing: it is the fusion of the extreme right”, he quipped about Mme Marshal: “So young and already unfaithful… It’s sad”.
Zemmour and the oligarch
For Marine Le Pen, the blow is hard, she who recalls having “raised” Marion Maréchal “during the first years of her life”, insisting on “the personal aspect” of this announced betrayal, “brutal, violent”.
The one who is running for the Elysée for the third time sends her niece back to her statements in the fall, when she swore that she would support “the best placed” on the far right. However, Marine Le Pen is ahead of the former Figaro journalist in all the polls.
The support of M.me Can the Marshal allow the former polemicist to reverse the curves, while Eric Zemmour is struggling to get out of a complicated sequence on the conflict in Ukraine?
Criticized for his pro-Russian tropism of the past, he was again put in difficulty this weekend after the revelation by Le Monde and the JDD of links with the ex-president of the Russian Railways Company Vladimir Yakunin.
Mr. Zemmour’s entourage first disputed, then finally admitted, that the candidate had lunch with the influential oligarch in 2015, before a new interview the following year, citing “simple meetings”.
According to footage posted on social media, a participant in the Toulon rally performed a Nazi salute. “This is an unknown participant who was removed from the gathering. No such gesture is tolerated in our gatherings, ”responded the candidate’s entourage.
On the other side of the chessboard, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in the lead in the voting intentions among the left-wing candidates, also wants to make people forget his declarations judging the Russian attack against Ukraine impossible. A “mistake”, he himself acknowledged.
His environmentalist competitors Yannick Jadot and socialist Anne Hidalgo, present at the big Parisian demonstration on Saturday for Ukraine, attributed to him complacency vis-à-vis Vladimir Putin and criticized his opposition to the delivery of arms to the Ukrainians.
In front of 15,000 people, in the open air in the Lyon district of Croix-Rousse, the candidate restored his position of “non-aligned” on the war in Ukraine by castigating NATO, “useless organization which causes tensions”, and by calling for “anti-globalization alliances” to prevent conflicts and act against climate change.
On the Lyon esplanade of the Gros caillou, the objective was to reconnect with the spectacular images of the candidate’s outdoor rallies in 2017, described as “demonstrations of force” by the Insoumis in chief. On Sunday, organizers claimed 15,000 attendees.
For each of the candidates, the outgoing president and the macronie remain the main target. The Republic on the move? A “sect” of “playmobil robots”, according to Mr. Mélenchon, when Mr.me Maréchal believes that the head of state is a “divisive president” who “opens the way to the race struggle”.
At the head of the voting intentions, Emmanuel Macron is expected late Monday afternoon in the Yvelines for “a conversation with the inhabitants”, his first trip as a candidate.
Will he agree to debate with his adversaries during this short campaign parasitized by war? “According to rituals and circumstances,” one of his main lieutenants, Christophe Castaner, was evasive on Sunday.