In Biarritz, two government ministers who were on opposing lists ended up withdrawing from the race, on the orders of the president. This was not enough for LREM to avoid the fiasco. In the second round, Michel Veunac, the outgoing mayor of Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) supported by LREM and in great difficulty at the end of the first round of the municipal elections, indeed announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing his list for the second tower.
“In my capacity as head of the Vivons Biarritz list ! (and) in agreement with all of my running mate, I decided to withdraw our list from the second round of these elections scheduled for June 28, "said the 74-year-old councilor in a terse statement, without giving any voting instructions.
Four more lists in the running
Arriving in 5th position in the first round, with only 12.21% of the vote, Michel Veunac approached this second round in very bad shape. Its main opponent, Maider Arosteguy (LR), took the lead with 31.46% of the vote, refusing any alliance.
Biarritz being one of the cities where one of the famous “quangangular” was to take place, Michel Veunac's withdrawal leaves four lists in the running for the second round on June 28.
An embarrassing case to the top of the state
Mayor of Biarritz since 2014, Michel Veunac had notably worked for the holding of the G7 in Biarritz in August 2019 and boasted of having the support of the presidential majority. He had embarked on the municipal campaign with Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism and Foreign Trade on his list, even though the Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume was leading a competing list.
During the confinement, Michel Veunac had sparked controversy by taking an order prohibiting him from sitting on the benches of his city "more than two minutes", a "clumsiness" which he had finally recognized and removed.