Le Figaro Nice
In Menton (Alpes-Maritimes), political life is as colorful as the facades of its homes and as acidic as its favorite fruit, the lemon. The proof is by the recent settling of scores between the mayor of the city, Yves Juhel, and his first deputy, Christian Tudès. The mayor removed him from office amid political disagreement on Wednesday. In an email addressed to the elected representatives of the majority of the city council, the mayor notified his decision after sixteen months of collaboration between the two men. This takes immediate effect, he says. The chief magistrate justifies this choice by "differences of opinion in the conduct of municipal affairs" and even more, "differences of appreciation". On major subjects, these would have been "numerous".
Once elected, the first deputy cannot be removed from office by simple order of the mayor. But the discord, or pressure, was such that Christian Tudès wrote to the prefect of the department to present his resignation. In this letter, which Le Figaro was able to consult, he explains that he made his return to local political life "on the basis of a program and a campaign focused on the themes of integrity, transparency and proximity". In his remarks, he seems to fall from above.
The promise behind this carriage was to turn the page on the former baron of the City Hall, Jean-Claude Guibal, who died in October 2021. With his wife, Colette Giudicelli, former UMP senator, who also died a year before her husband, the couple held the town hall with an iron fist and rarely with velvet gloves. "She was the bad cop and he was the good cop," recalls a former elected official. They held everything, to the point of not providing a replacement. Behind them, they leave the knockout." In his words to the prefect, the first deputy continues with fatality: "I regret to note that the commitments of this campaign have not been respected, he relieves to Bernard Gonzalez, the representative of the State. Menton is better known for its business than for its many natural assets."
" READ ALSO Unaccompanied minors: the requisition of a gymnasium in Menton revives the migration crisis at the Italian border
Re-elected February 2022
Yves Juhel, lieutenant in Jean-Claude Guibal's teams at the time, had taken up the torch, "or rather this clientelist system in ruins," adds a local observer, in 2021. Could things change in such a short time? A few weeks after this relay forced by the fate of life, half of the council resigned in order to provoke a new municipal election. Some saw it as a barely concealed "putsch". In February 2022, Yves Juhel hung on and still won by a short head against Sandra Paire, a member of Les Républicains. The objective of peacefulness in the border town with Italy on the Côte d'Azur is launched.
Commendable, but this break between the executive tandem of the city shows that calm has not returned and that Menton political life still tastes the same as its golden fruit, acidic in its flesh and bitter on its bark. At the beginning of 2023, the city was shaken by a case of subsidies for the management of the gardens of the city. The mayor is accused of "favoritism" and "illegal taking of interest" on a subsidy of 2.9 million euros. This report came from the Leader of the Opposition... Sandra Paire. A few months later, after the truce of the lemon festival if we dare say, the City indicated that Yves Juhel was in a "state of great fatigue" and was temporarily withdrawn. The entire Côte d'Azur then wondered about the state of health of the edile, many predicting that he would not return.
With this coup d'autorité on his first deputy, he shows that he is well at the maneuver. During his absence, would some have looked a little too closely at the chair of the first magistrate? "He saw himself caliph instead of the caliph," decrypts about Christian Tudès a close to municipal affairs. In an open letter addressed to the mayor, obtained by Le Figaro, the former first deputy spreads his rancour over five pages and accuses, in many points, the local practices against which he wanted to be white dove. "Just eight days ago, you asked me to work with you 'united like two fingers of the hand' with a view to your succession that you confirmed you wanted to entrust to me," he said, adding that new delegations were going to be entrusted to him and that the key to separating the two offices had been entrusted to him. "Why and how did we get here? Because I disturb, I disturb you and some of your friends who are elected to serve themselves and not to serve Menton and its inhabitants."
I disturb, I disturb you and some of your friends who are elected to serve themselves and not to serve Menton and its inhabitants.
Christian Tudès, former first deputy of the city of Menton.
Continuing the anaphora of "I disturb" on fourteen paragraphs, he denounces "simulacra of tenders", "a document falsified by an elected official", "the opacity that reigns over the local public company of ports" and the advantages shown by elected administrators ("luxury company car, huge expense reports, lavish travel expenses"). Christian Tudès insists by evoking "dubious practices of elected officials who enjoy material benefits on behalf of the City", or "legal errors" and even a "fictitious and pure convenience job". He ends by explaining many disappointments about the one he trusted ("for your silence when some of your friends attack me"). And he concludes by expressing remorse: "for having made a bad choice and for having largely participated in your election at the head of my city." Yves Juhel, he announced to elected officials that he would work on "the reorganization of the municipal executive" in the coming days.