Eric Ciotti, deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, keeps a bitter taste in his mouth. Every year takes place in Nice, on the Promenade des Anglais, the Europetanque, an international competition of this sport so popular in its native South. Alas, the organizers had to change location. Express order from the city of Nice, believes the elected official, and therefore from his longtime enemy, the mayor of the city of Angels, Christian Estrosi. Instead, specifies the outgoing deputy of the 1st district of the department, another competition was created specifically by the metropolis.

In the entourage of the mayor of Nice, we reject the idea “of a hostage-taking of the Nice people” to settle personal accounts. We take this opportunity to note that the deputy had the departmental council of the Alpes-Maritimes vote for a subsidy to an association “which only aims to thwart the plans for the development of the promenade du Paillon” of the town hall . Vibe.

The story may seem anecdotal, but it wonderfully illustrates the daily bickering that poisons the life of what was a hegemonic right in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region. Here, in fact, two factions of this political family are in confrontation. And the legislative elections of June 12 and 19 are a new opportunity to settle old scores. On the one hand, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, the president of the region, Renaud Muselier, or the mayor of Toulon, Hubert Falco, who left the Les Républicains (LR) party – which they judge in a “ radical drift” – and moved closer to the presidential majority. On the other, the outgoing deputies who remained LR, holding a harder line, in particular on security issues, such as Eric Ciotti in the Alpes-Maritimes, but also Julien Aubert in the Vaucluse and Bernard Reynès in the Bouches-du- Rhone.

” I do not forget “

The latter accuse the former of wanting to replay the 2021 regional match and liquidate all that remains of LR in the Southeast. At the time, Renaud Muselier, candidate for his succession, had been booed by his former partners for wanting to unite with the Macronists against the far right; his friends Messrs. Estrosi and Falco were called “evil”. Conversely, the latter believe that they are today “the only right” in the territory: the rest, explains Anthony Borré, first deputy mayor of Nice and regional manager of Horizons, “is the far right “. Close the ban.

The battle largely involves the active support provided by the mayors of Nice and the president of the PACA region to competitors stamped “presidential majority” of LR candidates. Despite a bad fall at the end of May, which earned him five broken ribs and a pneumothorax, Renaud Muselier wants to “get fully involved” in the legislative campaign in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. “Between the extreme right and the extreme right, there is another way, he assures. Some have done everything for me to lose. I am neither vindictive nor resentful, but I do not forget. »

The tour that his teams had concocted for the campaign, however, clearly resembled a return match of 2021. Passage through the 5th constituency of Vaucluse to inaugurate, in Carpentras, the permanence of the Macronist candidate, Jean-François Lovisolo, former leader of the local Socialist Party and opponent of Julien Aubert; stop in the 15th district of Bouches-du-Rhône to support Marie-Laurence Anzalone (Ensemble!-MoDem) in her challenge against Bernard Reynès. And, finally, a visit to the Gare de l’Ouest in Nice, in support of the “walker” Graig Monetti in the 1st district of the Alpes-Maritimes owned by Eric Ciotti. Renaud Muselier physically offside, support operations are still provided by vice-presidents of the regional council and members of the president’s cabinet. The latter is content with tweets and video messages.

“Chef de gang”

“I am delighted to receive all this support, but I know that they are not only there for my good looks”, notes Jean-François Lovisolo. “I am also reaping what my opponent sowed by balkanizing political relations in his party. Aubert fires a gun, turns on… In the end, he will find himself alone, ”he continues.

Julien Aubert, he says he does not understand this hostility, and recalls that he called to vote for Renaud Muselier in the second round of the regional elections. “I have my conscience for me, he says, Renaud Muselier wants to be the only right that exists, he has methods worthy of a gang leader. Julien Aubert also indicates that he has suffered failures in trying to form official support committees with mayors worried about seeing, like others before them, their subsidies cut by Mr. Muselier.

In the north of the Bouches-du-Rhône, between Alpilles and Luberon, the outgoing Bernard Reynès, 68, also says he is “sorry to have become the man to be killed in the eyes of [his] former friends”. “Reynès, we put him in place, got him elected and re-elected. And he refused to support me, when I did everything for him…, retorts Mr. Muselier. He will still have some difficulties. »

Eric Ciotti, he mocks: “Their fight against the RN is only an alibi and a fable. Their company has been engaged for a long time. They advanced masked. Today, they play with their faces uncovered. So it’s easier to thwart them,” says the man who expects “attacks” or “stink balls” to be unleashed on him. He still hopes that his candidate, Christelle D’Intorni, will beat Marine Brenier, outgoing LR, a close friend of Christian Estrosi invested by Macronie in the latter’s historic constituency. A legislative to the tunes of score settling at OK Corral.

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