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Direction LREM: plebiscite, Castaner builds his team in the shadow

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – ludovic MARIN – | Christophe Castaner, October 18, 2017 at the Elysée, in Paris

Future “boss” of the Republic on the march with the white-seign of Emmanuel Macron, Christophe Castaner garners support before constituting by Thursday evening his team tightened, which must preserve, at least in appearance, the internal diversity of the + walkers +.

In all likelihood, a total triumph and without adversity is looming for Christophe Castaner at the LREM Convention on 18 November in Lyon, which is to install the new presidential party.

Whoever abandons the government spokesperson cap, but may be authorized to retain the position of Secretary of State in charge of Relations with the Parliament, should be the only one in the race for the post of “general delegate” on Thursday evening at the closing of the applications.

Adoubé a week ago by the head of state, it also has the filters imposed by the statutes of LREM to present itself, namely to gather sponsorship of 60 members of the Council (the parliament of the party), including 30 deputies, 3 senators, 10 territorial referents and 5 unparliamentary elected representatives.

Tuesday, at the meeting of LREM parliamentary group, the member of Paris Laetitia Avia has given Mr. Castaner a bundle of “150 sponsors” of his colleagues. “He has been with us since our beginnings in the Assembly, we want to show our support,” Avia told AFP.

Mr Castaner, who was re-elected in June as deputy of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, enjoys a considerable love rating among more + walkers +.

“He’s an excellent candidate, I like to say the three + C +: he’s someone competent, trusting and friendly, it’s Christophe Castaner!” Enthuses the Côtes deputy. Armor Hervé Berville.

“He is undisputed, he is very appreciated by the deputies, to whom he has been hugging, he is loved by walkers and the executive, and is the perfect triangle,” said former Senator Bariza Khiari.

With this unanimity, Mr. Castaner built for several days a list of 20 names, all members of the Council, to compose his executive bureau, to file before Thursday evening also, on the eve of a board of directors of the movement.

The list must be equal and respect “the diversity of territories, routes and profiles”, according to the internal regulations.

The equation is therefore subtle. Mr. Castaner must surround himself with a mixture of deputies, senators, local elected officials (cities and rural territories), referents and simple adherents.

Not to mention the few “historical” of the party, like the current leaders Bariza Khiari, Arnaud Leroy and Astrid Panosyan who, without an elective mandate, could equally well integrate the office in a second time among 10 members from the civil society as provided in the statutes.

– ’30 mails per day ‘-

The tractactions are therefore going well, both on the names and the mix of the list.

“At the deputies, it is the total blur, we will know it only at the last minute,” says a parliamentarian.

“Those who are candidates for anything since joining the Assembly want to join the executive board,” says another deputy.

Among local elected officials, the mayor of Lyon Georges Képénékian, that of Besançon Jean-Louis Fousseret, or the president of the Lyon metropolis David Kimelfeld, are the only representatives of large cities. Will that give them a place?

The hundred or so departmental referents organized themselves via a discussion loop on the Telegram network. Sarah Robin (North), Corinne Versini (Bouches-du-Rhone) and Alexandre Aïdara (Seine-Saint-Denis) hold the rope, from concordant sources.

Elected small towns, local animators and members of the Council are kept in limbo, even if the candidatures are multiplying

“I must receive 30 mails per day from people who are candidates”, illustrates Dominique Faure, mayor of Saint-Orens (Haute-Garonne).

These initiatives are likely to allow for several lists on November 18, “2 or 3”, according to one MP. Even if only the one stamped Castaner will prevail.

“Small lists have no chance,” regrets the mayor of a small town, which says he was “discouraged” to introduce himself. “This whole process is pretty mysterious,” she says, annoyed.

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