24 January, 2014

The dynamic of the electoral campaign stimulates the political offers

Après la présentation, par Christophe Béchu, de ses co-listiers aux élections municipales, le centre n'est pas resté inactif. Laurent Gérault, recevant le secrétaire national de l'Udi, a renvoyé dos à dos la majorité sortante et sa rivale Ump. Le Front national annonce qu'il présentera une liste mais parait lui plus favorable à Frédéric Béatse qu'à son challenger, ce qui augure mal de report de voix à droite. Cette agitation donne des idées à d'autres candidats. Passé le 1er tour, il sera dur de recoller les morceaux.

Laurent Gérault
The growing dynamic of the electoral campaign recently illustrated by the introduction of Christophe Béchu's running mates is apparently only at its beginning. Laurent Gérault, the centrist candidate, got, once again, the official support of the Union des démocrates indépendants (Udi) who sent in Angers on January 23rd its national general secretary. That visit was an opportunity for Mr. Gérault to hurl critics to his challengers, both from left and right. 

Christophe Béchu
The centrist leaders criticized Mr. Béchu (Union pour une majorité populaire) about his idea to settle a nocturnal district in Angers (near the Saint-Serge square) where the students could give free rein to their meetings and parties. Mr. Gérault and his Udi colleague advocated the end of the "promises fair" and of the "overbids in announcements". But they also condemned the management of the city by the outgoing majority. "Angers switches off, that is visible from a national standpoint, the unemployment is blowing up and the medium resources of Angevins are decreasing, the city lacks of attractiveness", they said. 

Frédéric Béatse
Opportunely, because they were gathered in the Monplaisir district, they found regrettable that the € 40 millions invested in AquaVita, the Angers new swimming pool due to open on January 25th, were not used for the renovation of that quarter. On a more political register, they considered Christophe Béchu was responsible of the impossibility to have a united list between centre and right in those municipal elections, what makes rather scarce the chances of rapprochement later. 

Gaétan Dirand
This is even more unlikely with the Front national (Fn) whose leader, Gaétan Dirand, aims for the arrival of Fn town councillors, next March. Mr. Dirand said he would have already gathered a sufficient number of running mates and indicated he was more favourable to Frédéric Béatse (Parti socialiste), current mayor than for Mr. Béchu : "[the first] lacks legitimacy but he partially overcame it making clear he would not compete for a national mandate. He is working and he is seen in the Angers districts. I would not say the same for Christophe Béchu who gives the feeling he is running to that election as he would do for the United States senate". There again, there are few chances for a transfer of votes from the Fn to the Ump on the second round. 

The elections give ideas to small lists. An "Angers vivre mieux" platform has been constituted by citizens favourable to environment protection, participatory democracy and the exemplary nature of future town councillors. On the far left, a new list also arose, "Résister, construire à gauche", already in the 2008 campaign with almost 5% of votes. It will be difficult to bring back together all those political pieces after the first round. 

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