His faithful insist: Édouard Philippe, back in Le Havre, is "a happy man" . Forty-eight hours after his departure from Matignon, crowned with his large victory in the second round of the municipal elections against his communist opponent, the former Prime Minister put on his tricolor mayor's scarf on Sunday at the town hall. "The fact of being mayor, being entrusted with this responsibility, is having the chance to exercise the most beautiful of mandates that the Republic can offer" , welcomed the Norman, who obtained 47 of 59 votes from its municipal council, six years after its election in the first round.
In front of the elected officials of his fief and some of his friends who had made the trip - the MEP Gilles Boyer, the minister Gérald Darmanin and a handful of former advisers of his cabinet were in the public - Édouard Philippe assured the people of Le Havre his determination to carry out the project, "which is consistent, consistent and ambitious", on which he was elected, with "the general interest as a compass" . “You always have to be careful in France when you talk about ambition. Because it is often a word that is charged to your debit. It is obviously about the ambition of a city, the ambition of a port city ” , took care to specify the mayor, to whom some lend national ulterior motives for 2022.
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Back to the local mandate, therefore, as if to turn the page on his three eventful years at Matignon, punctuated by major crises. In his 20-minute speech, Édouard Philippe did not say a word about his experience as head of state. He then refused to report to journalists about his state of mind or his successor. Those around him indicate that he will now devote himself fully to his city, even if it means withdrawing. "It seems normal to take a little field, comments to Figaro Gérald Darmanin, who came to testify of his " affection " to the former Prime Minister, who had slipped his name to Emmanuel Macron, in 2017, when forming the government. After these three years, he has the right to take vacations, it is normal and very deserved. For the rest, it's not up to me to say whether he should play a role on the national scene or not. ”“ Edouard wants to focus on his work here in Le Havre, ” confirms Gilles Boyer. He will not speak on national news for a while. He leaves Matignon with the feeling of duty accomplished, I felt him at peace with the decision of the President of the Republic which was taken by mutual agreement. ”
Structure the majority
Friday, however, the Elysee Palace had announced that by separating from Edouard Philippe, Emmanuel Macron had charged him with structuring the majority for the presidential election of 2022. The interested party, by the voice of his relatives , do not close the door. But prefer to procrastinate. “We don't know the schedule or the outline of this mission. Edouard Philippe and the President of the Republic will have a conversation at the start of the school year to define the modalities, said Gilles Boyer. Edouard has solidified a center-right electorate, he wants to continue to crystallize it. But he is not asking for anything. He will put all his energy in the place that will be his so that the president is re-elected in 2022. Structures and airlocks must be created to accommodate those who want to be in the majority without joining La République en Marche. ”
"Edouard has already done something important, in 2002, it was the UMP," recalls the member for Seine-Maritime and municipal councilor for Le Havre, Agnès Firmin-Le Bodo. That it brings together and strengthens the presidential majority seems to me to be something that suits him. ” While waiting to clarify his future role, the former prime minister wants to take advantage of his people. Sunday, a hundred of Le Havre had gathered in front of the giant screen which broadcast the meeting of the municipal council, in the hall of the town hall. On the porch of the concrete building and up to the war memorial in front of which he laid the traditional wreath, Philippe offered himself a crowd bath, under the Norman drizzle, the applause and the encouragement, which covered the few hoots. Before clenching your fist and brandishing it, all smiles, towards the sky. As if he was savoring his victory.