Senatorial elections in Paris: an air of rehearsal before the municipal elections

In Paris, between gatherings on the left and dissidence on the right, the quiet campaign for the senatorial elections already has the air of a municipal confrontation, less than three years before the 2026 battle for the town hall

Senatorial elections in Paris: an air of rehearsal before the municipal elections

In Paris, between gatherings on the left and dissidence on the right, the quiet campaign for the senatorial elections already has the air of a municipal confrontation, less than three years before the 2026 battle for the town hall.

Eight lists are competing for the twelve seats in the capital: on the left the main one brings together the PS, EELV, the PCF, Paris en commun and Génération.s and could obtain eight senators (compared to seven currently).

On the right, three lists are in the running, an official one supported by the leader of the opposition at town hall Rachida Dati, a second from the president of the LR federation and European deputy Agnès Evren and the third from the outgoing senator and ex-LR Pierre Charon .

For the head of the rally's list on the left, the outgoing socialist senator Rémi Feraud, the scene is clear: "a deeply torn Parisian right" is opposed by "the elected majority of Anne Hidalgo", he said the launch of the campaign at the beginning of September in a barge on the Seine.

In the eyes of the LR right, the members of Anne Hidalgo's majority "always manage to agree to have positions even if they do not agree" on the merits, retorts Marie-Claire Carrère-Gée, third on the official list. “They are closing ranks to try to municipalize the vote.”

Rémi Féraud, close to the mayor of Paris, does not mince his words against Rachida Dati: "The division on the right was created by Ms. Dati who (...) ransacked her camp", by leaving the official list Agnès Evren , elected in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, one of the bastions of the right in the capital.

Tensions between the two women eased a few days before the election. The designation of the electors in June ensures, on paper, the election of Agnès Evren who should sit in the Senate with The Republicans.

The official LR list, tossed around by dissidence, is positioned with a view to "reconquering Paris" with a view to the municipal elections, according to its number two, the mayor of the 16th arrondissement and lawyer Francis Szpiner.

“Our goal is to tell Parisians that there are no districts considered lost to the right” by putting forward candidates particularly from the center and east of Paris, held by the left, explains -he.

But according to certain commentators, Francis Szpiner crystallizes tensions on the right and could act as a foil against the official list. He is notably accused of losing the 16th arrondissement in the 2022 legislative elections.

Rachida Dati remains considered the only candidate capable of bringing together the right and winning the 2026 municipal elections.

Pierre Charon, a dissident who must cast his vote between the right and the presidential camp, is leading a list to “provide support for Rachida Dati” with a view to 2026, he said on Radio J at the start of the week.

For the left, the challenge is to obtain an eighth seat for the benefit of EELV: the environmentalist deputy in charge of Health at Paris town hall, Anne Souyris, made everyone "agree" on her name , she believes.

Former presidential candidate Yannick Jadot made a notable arrival in the Parisian arena, in an eligible position on the list, and sparked speculation.

The union on the left, "founded on an anti-Nupes base", however, does not suit everyone with a view to 2026: "we will not be able to do the same thing there", believes an elected official from the majority.

On the sidelines, outgoing senator Julien Bargeton, macronie candidate whose votes in the Paris Council are insufficient to guarantee him re-election, highlights the interest of "a facilitator senator from the presidential majority" in a polarized Parisian environment .

19/09/2023 13:51:24 -         Paris (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP