Right-wing Les Républicains divided over opposition strategy

The stakes are high, as they do not want to show that they are “giving in” to the majority party. At the same time, obstruction at all costs does not work well with voters. Christian Jacob, LR president, made it clear that “there is no question” of the party entering a coalition pact, “we remain in opposition in a determined manner.” [Shutterstock/Jo Bouroch]

The right-wing Les Républicains party is divided over their opposition strategy as President Emmanuel Macron urged political groups to “govern and legislate differently” in a speech on Wednesday.

The stakes are high, as they do not want to show that they are “giving in” to the majority party. At the same time, obstruction at all costs does not work well with voters. Christian Jacob, LR president, made it clear that “there is no question” of the party entering a coalition pact, “we remain in opposition in a determined manner.”

The same was heard from Olivier Marleix, newly-elected President of the parliamentary group, who claimed he would be “an incorruptible president.” Jean-François Bellamy MEP said that he refuses to “dissolve into ‘Macronism’.”

But some dissident voices are being heard. On the evening of the second round, Jean-François Copé, a former minister under Nicolas Sarkozy and former leader of the party, said that “a government pact is vital between Macron and LR to fight against the rise of extreme parties.”

Christelle Morançais, president of the Pays de la Loire regional council and once tipped to become Macron’s prime minister, also said she would be willing to speak with the president’s party, “particularly in terms of ministries.”

Others have proposed coalitions on a case-by-case basis. Philippe Gosselin MP said that LR “is a responsible party, and voters would not understand if we added agitation and obstruction to the existing chaos.”

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