For Valérie Pécresse, the war in Ukraine has complicated an already badly started campaign

Press conference by LR presidential candidate Valérie Pecresse to present the program for the first 100 days of her five-year term, in Paris, March 31, 2022.

Valérie Pécresse did not hide from it in front of the entrepreneurs who came to listen to her, Tuesday March 29, in Marcq-en-Barœul (North). For her, this campaign was ” frustrating “. “I would have preferred a campaign that could take place on the ground”corn, “with the Covid crisis, the barrier gestures, the war in Ukraine, this has atrophied this meeting with the French”. Since the outbreak of the Russian invasion, this regret of a campaign suffocated by war has been on almost everyone’s lips within the Les Républicains (LR) party.

Without this conflict on European territory, which has overmobilized the attention of the French, the campaign of their candidate would have taken place differently, assure many elected LR. In their initial plans, the measures of Valérie Pécresse were to seduce the right-wing electorate who had gone to Emmanuel Macron on one side, or to Eric Zemmour on the other, and even beyond. Above all, the official entry into the campaign of the candidate president was to create a debate allowing Mme Pecresse to exist with discussions “project against project”. But nothing went as planned.

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“We wanted there to be debate on the substantive issues, but the war acted as an anaesthetic, it reduced the duration of the campaign and its depth”regrets Othman Nasrou, the spokesperson for Valérie Pécresse, who judges that the suitors for the Elysée have not had “the opportunity to get to the bottom of the subjects”. It is also without counting on a fact: the war led by Russia has awakened embarrassing files for the right. Certain pro-Putin statements by Nicolas Sarkozy have come to the surface. And François Fillon, the former LR champion in 2017, who sat on the board of directors of two Russian petrochemical companies, one of which has direct links to power, was forced to resign.

“A legitimist reflex”

With less diplomatic information at their disposal to deal with the Russian-Ukrainian file than the President of the Republic, the candidates could not either, we explain on the right, become presidential as they should have. Conversely, it is the Head of State who alone has benefited from it. “Emmanuel Macron has taken advantage of his image as the president who saves the planet. Without the war, he would have entered the campaign earlier and he would have accepted a debate.estimates the deputy (LR) of Doubs, Annie Genevard.

The boss of the LR senators and elected representative of Vendée, Bruno Retailleau, agrees and sees it as a paradox: “The war in Ukraine has strengthened Emmanuel Macron where it should have weakened himhe judges. She reinforced it, because when people are afraid, they have a legitimist reflex. However, this reflex has obscured the reflection on the shortcomings of Macron’s policy in terms of energy independence, agricultural sovereignty, military power and diplomatic influence. precisely revealed by the conflict.

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