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After Macron, the Republic on the march in search of an emblematic figure

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD – | A poster bearing the likeness of President Emmanuel Macron on 7 June 2017 in Angers before a meeting of the movement En Marche!

Temporarily led by a triumvirate, the Republic on the march seeks its emblematic boss to carry its ambitious projects. A role for which Benjamin Griveaux is a favorite before the November Congress.

“The question is: is it better for three people who embody the party or one, who embodies it very strongly? I think that we need someone of great scope,” summarizes a deputy of La République working.

Even if the statutes adopted in mid-August leave the door open to a collegial leadership, the need to oppose a single voice to that of Laurent Wauquiez, likely future leader of the party Republicans, or Jean-Luc Mélenchon (France unwilling) consensus.

“I think we need a tailor, we will be much more identifiable,” says another MEP LREM, when the ally of the MoDem deplored that “there are not enough interlocutors at En Marche, the lack of leadership is detrimental. ”

For two months, the party of Emmanuel Macron is piloted by a trio rather discreet, composed of Arnaud Leroy, Astrid Panosyan and Bariza Khiari. To the former Member of Parliament, European issues and media interventions; to the founding member of En Marche! the human resources component of a party still in the process of structuring; and the Senator to maneuver for the last elections to the Palais du Luxembourg.

“It was not too much of three,” said one party official. “But after the Congress, an executive bureau (elected by list ballot, ed) will be installed and will meet once a month, which will allow this division of tasks,” he added.

On the occasion of the Congress, to be held on 18 November, a “Council” of about 800 members will be set up. Afterwards, it is up to this party parliament to elect for three years its chief – “delegate general” according to official terminology – although it is not certain that the vote will take place on the day of the Congress, one to LREM.

It remains to settle the most thorny question: who to incarnate the function? Since it was generally agreed that it should be exercised on a full-time basis and therefore could not be combined with a post of minister or deputy.

Even though no call for nominations was formally made, the name of Benjamin Griveaux most often returns among the 300 LREM deputies who provide the largest contingent of the “Council”.

– Griveaux, choice of reason –

Ⓒ POOL/AFP/Archives – Francois Mori – | Benjamin Griveaux, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Economy and Finance, May 14, 2017 in Paris

Mr. Griveaux, who was one of the designers of En Marche !, is currently Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Finance. His appointment would mean that he would leave the government “in the next three weeks, to give him time to campaign,” predicted a parliamentary source.

“The logic is that it should be him, we need someone in the first walkers, he wants more than the others, at least it was this summer,” insists a leading MP.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner also enjoys an important love rating and some MEPs believe he has the “ideal profile”. But he also made himself indispensable to his post, explained one at the Elysee, little inclined to let him slip.

Same case for Julien Denormandie, architect of the shadow of the movement and confidant of the President of the Republic. Now Secretary of State, he is the bearer of a draft law on housing erected in flagship reform of the quinquennium which makes it difficult to move immediately.

Arnaud Leroy is already in the walls of 63 rue Saint-Anne, seat of the party’s new headquarters in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. But this walker of the first hour especially eyeing the next European elections of 2019, and a place of leader LREM in Brussels and Strasbourg, said one in his entourage.

The task will in any case be vast and delicate for the next boss who will have to hold a composite party, gathered around a presidential program but in search of a common ideological corpus.

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