Laurent Wauquiez Resigns from the Republican Presidency

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Laurent Wauquiez resigns from the Republican presidency

A week after the rout of his party in the European elections, the president of the Republicans, Laurent Wauquiez announced his resignation Sunday 2nd June, 2019 TF1 television news.

Laurent Wauquiez announced Sunday on TF1 his resignation from the presidency of the Republicans (LR) , a week after the historic defeat of the party (8.48%) in the European elections.

“I will take a step back”

“The victories are collective, the defeats are solitary. I must take my responsibilities: (…) I will take a step back. I am retiring from my position as President of the Republicans, “said Laurent Wauquiez, who has been in a rush for a week to step down as LR leader by several right-wing figures.

“The right has to be rebuilt” and “I do not want to be an obstacle at any price,” said Wauquiez.

President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, former minister during the five-year term of Nicolas Sarkozy, former deputy of Haute-Loire and former mayor of Puy-en-Velay, Mr. Wauquiez, 44, had been comfortably elected to the head of the party in December 2017, with about 75% of the vote, a few months after the defeat of François Fillon in the presidential election.

Governance deemed “solitary”

Since his election, Mr. Wauquiez was the subject of many criticisms on his right-hand side and on a governance deemed “lonely” at the head of the party.

Often accused of “insincerity”, the boss of LR had tarnished his image in 2018 with the revelation of shock statements, recorded without his knowledge, held in front of students from Lyon, in which he multiplied criticism against various politicians.

He had chosen in general scepticism to appoint François-Xavier Bellamy, a 33-year-old philosophy teacher, to lead the LR list in the European elections. But party leaders had then actively campaigned, until the historically low score gleaned on May 26, many right-wing voters who chose to vote for Emmanuel Macron’s Republic en marche.

After this defeat, Mr. Wauquiez had announced the holding of “States General” to “the return” to “put everything back flat”. A decision deemed insufficient by many hierarchs LR.

Laurent Wauquiez, May 22, 2019 in Saint-Cloud.
Laurent Wauquiez, May 22, 2019 in Saint-Cloud. (© AFP / Lionel BONAVENTURE)

Gérard Larcher at the manoeuver

Several leaders like Valérie Pécresse or Eric Woerth had more or less openly called the departure of Mr. Wauquiez. Senate President Gérard Larcher has initiated an “approach” to build “a project bringing together the right and the center”.

Mr. Larcher invited on Tuesday June 4, 2019 in Paris the presidents of parliamentary groups Christian Jacob (Assembly) and Bruno Retailleau (Senate), the presidents of the great associations of elected officials François Baroin (mayors), Dominique Bussereau (departments) and Hervé Morin (regions), as well as the presidents of LR regions including Ms. Pécresse, Mr. Wauquiez or Renaud Muselier (PACA).

Xavier Bertrand (Hauts-de-France), who left LR after the election of Mr. Wauquiez at the head of LR, will not attend this meeting, according to his entourage.

According to the statutes of LR, in the event of vacancy, the presidency of the movement is ensured by the vice-president, Jean Leonetti.

Laurent Wauquiez Resigns from the Republican Presidency 1

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