Two ministers campaigning in the same city, but on different lists for the next municipal elections? This is the incongruous scenario - even catastrophe - that the Republic on the march is trying to avoid at all costs in Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). It has already been several weeks since Didier Guillaume, the Minister of Agriculture, and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, clash behind the scenes to find out which of the two will eventually prevail. Guillaume officially launched his campaign on January 11. As for Lemoyne, he will appear on the list of outgoing mayor, the MoDem Michel Veunac.
An unprecedented case, and which annoys in high places. So much so that Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe will whistle for the end of recess very soon. According to our information, the "Biarritz file" will be on the menu for the weekly lunch between the President of the Republic and his Prime Minister on Friday noon, after the Council of Ministers. "The regulation is imminent," slips a senior official, close to Macron, to say that the executive couple intends to put an end to this bad soap opera.
Several scenarios circulate
Friday, when he received the Head of State in his ministry for an award of excellence in the general agricultural competition, Didier Guillaume was also entitled to a small aside. Fifteen minutes in his one-on-one office with Macron, where Macron told him that he would decide "before the end of the month".
Tuesday morning, during the traditional majority breakfast around Edouard Philippe, the affair was also raised, via a question asked by government spokesman Sibeth Ndiaye. "And in Biarritz, what's going on? How do you plan to settle this? Prime Minister's response, according to comments reported by several participants. : "Quickly! I will also review the President on the subject. "
It remains to be seen how to get out of the crisis. Several scenarios circulate. The first is to take out one of the two government officials. Others, among those that Emmanuel Macron listens to, advised him to dismiss the two ministerial candidates of the government outright. There are also those who argue for the maintenance of the two, but on the condition that one abandons the race for mayor of Biarritz. And finally, the idea of an agreement to merge the Guillaume-Veunac lists. "But at this stage, there was no contact," said a friend of the Minister of Agriculture soberly, so as to rule out this scenario. In short, quite a puzzle. "But the situation is not tenable," insists Philippe for several days.