Eric Ciotti, president of the centre-right party the Republicans says yes to an electoral alliance with the French hard right party National Rally for the June 30 legislative elections. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)


France’s Republican party president agrees to alliance with National Rally


Eric Ciotti, President of the French centre-right party The Republicans, has been called on to resign after agreeing to an electoral alliance with the hard-right National Rally (RN) for the June 30 French legislative elections.

“I want my political family to move towards an alliance with the National Rally,” he said on June 11. Some members had already joined him, he added. The two parties held similar political positions, including on immigration.

Ciotti said he recognised that his centre-right party was “too weak to oppose … [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s bloc and the left-wing bloc”. An alliance with RN was a way to “avoid the danger” posed by the hard-left party La France Insoumise.

In the proposed alliance, Republican candidates would not have to stand against hard-right RN candidates in the two rounds of the French elections.

This is the first time in French history that The Republicans has aligned itself with the hard-right party RN at a national level, prompting strong criticism and rejection from Republicans bigwigs.

In response, the leader of The Republicans in the lower house of parliament, Olivier Marleix, called for Ciotti to resign. “He must leave the presidency of the party.”

Gerard Larché, President of the Republicans in the Senate chambers, backed Marleix’s calls.

“Following Eric Ciotti’s declarations, I believe that he can no longer chair our movement and must resign from his mandate as president of the party,” Larché said.

Valérie Pécresse, the current President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, called for other colleagues to denounce the agreement with RN. “Honour, righteousness, convictions are not empty words. Not everything can be bought. The Republicans must immediately denounce the agreement proposed by Ciotti with the RN,” she said.

RN’s de facto leader, Marine Le Pen, saluted what she called Ciotti’s “courageous choice” and “sense of responsibility”.

She also welcomed what she stated was the fact that “40 years of a pseudo-cordon sanitaire, which caused the loss of many elections, is now disappearing”.