It is a party at the service of a man, with little internal debate, without territorial implantation or leaders capable of questioning the leader.
And it is a party that since its victory in the presidential elections three and a half years ago has not won again at the polls.
The Republic on the Move (LREM) of Emmanuel Macron suffered another electoral defeat on Sunday.
This time, in the French Senate elections, bastion of the old politics.
The paradox is that the LREM crisis does not prevent President Macron from resisting in the polls and no opponent appears, for now, to overshadow him.
The result in the elections, which renewed 172 of the 348 seats, was foreseeable, but confirms the Upper House as the only institutional pole controlled by the right-wing opposition.
And also the weakness of Macron's party, condemned, despite its hegemony in the National Assembly, to a discreet role in the Senate, behind the right and the socialists.
A novelty is that the environmentalists get their own group and that, for the first time, a Corsican nationalist wins a seat.
A consolation for the macronistas is that François Patriat, head of the group, won his election, against the odds.
The Senate, whose constitutional mission is "the representation of the territorial collectivities of the Republic", is elected by indirect universal suffrage.
Not all citizens vote, but about 87,000 large voters.
95% are members of the municipal councils.
The rest, councilors of the departments and regions, as well as the national deputies and senators.
The senators' mandate is six years.
Every three half of the Chamber is renewed by this procedure.
The victory of Los Republicanos (LR), the traditional right-wing party, and the honorable result of the Socialist Party (PS) are no surprise.
Both have a broad presence in local power and were the parties with the most elected councilors in recent municipal elections, which is reflected in the composition of the Senate.
LR obtained 261 cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants in municipalities.
The PS, 149. LREM and its allies in the presidential majority, about twenty.
And environmentalists, 12, including some of the great metropolises.
The far right won in six.
The great success of En Marche!
—Devised as a postmodern and transversal movement against the stagnant PS and LR, and in which the president, due to his institutional position, does not occupy any function— was Macron's victory in the May 2017 presidential elections. weeks later, in the legislative elections, the coup was completed: the macronistas seized the majority in the National Assembly, which, during this time, has allowed the president to govern comfortably.
The problem is that every election held since then has been a defeat for LREM.
In the Europeans of May 2019, Macron's list lost by the minimum before the extreme right of the National Regrouping (RN) of Marine Le Pen, his only rival on the French board.
The municipalities of March and June 2020, marked by the pandemic and high abstention, left the macronistas as a residual force in the municipalities.
On September 20, in the partial legislative elections to renew six of the 577 vacant seats in the National Assembly, none of Macron's candidates made it past the first round.
In recent months, several deputies from the left wing of LREM have left the party, to the point that it has lost an absolute majority, although it maintains it thanks to its alliances with small center and center-right formations.
And last Monday, the number two of LREM, Pierre Person, and two other members of the executive management slammed the door to show their dissatisfaction with the management of the general delegate, Stanislas Guerini.
“The movement has been stuck in the logic of 2017, which was to push the presidential project, but it does not produce new ideas,” Person told Le Monde.
“In this game we have to debate.
Seemingly like the old political formations, it simply risks disappearing, ”he added.
Follow the Elysee
Many in management share the diagnosis, although they do not air it.
The fact that Person was a complete stranger to public opinion until announcing in Le Monde that he was leaving the executive is significant.
In the shadow of Macron, LREM has not created a pool of leaders with projection.
As Person denounces, who will continue as a deputy, the party's message is usually a "copy-paste" of what is cooked in the Elysee Palace and in the Government, a reproach that is frequently also made to the deputies of the presidential majority.
That neither of Macron's two prime ministers - formerly Édouard Philippe and now Jean Castex - came from the ranks of LREM can be understood as an example of the president's willingness to broaden ideological horizons: both had been active in LR.
But he also reveals that he did not find anyone in his own party to fill the position.
Macron does not seem to lose sleep over the LREM problems or the defeat in the Senate, which he took for granted.
Projects are circulating to create a new great movement that brings together other parties in addition to his own and thus present himself with another brand to the 2022 presidential elections. Today he is still the favorite.
The "collective betrayal" of the Lebanese leaders
Rarely is a head of state heard criticizing the leaders of a friendly country with such severity. Emmanuel Macron on Sunday accused Lebanese leaders of "collective treason", of "placing their partisan and individual interests above the general interest" and of "playing Lebanon at the game of foreign powers and condemning it to chaos." Macron made the harsh words. accusations at a press conference at the Elysee Palace, called on an urgent basis, dedicated exclusively to the former French protectorate and with questions from the official residence of the French ambassador in Beirut of Lebanese journalists and citizens. announcement on Saturday of the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Mustafa Adib, who has lasted less than a month in office. Paris signals the ethnic and confessional formations, and in particular the Shiite militia-party Hezbollah, to torpedo "with dark maneuvers" the formation of a government in charge of adopting as soon as possible the reforms it demands to channel international aid. “A month has just been lost, a month during which international aid has not been received,” Macron said. On September 1, on his last visit to Beirut - the second since the explosion in the capital's port on August 4, which left 200 dead and 6,500 wounded - the Lebanese leaders promised to form a government within two weeks. It was the condition to channel aid, with the idea that, without independent leaders, this money will end in the pockets of corrupt politicians who are more attentive to the good of their group or their family than to the general interest. Macron directed the most explicit criticism of Hezbollah, which he accused of "being at the same time an army at war against Israel, a militia unleashed against civilians in Syria and a respectable party in Lebanon." "A few dozen people are bringing down a country," said the French president. "I feel ashamed for its leaders," he added. The French president's attempts to push for the reconstruction and reform of the former protectorate have so far been unsuccessful. However, for now, he excludes sanctions on the country, mired in a serious crisis, and declares himself ready to give "one last chance" to the leaders of Lebanon.