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FRANCE – Five years ago Emmanuel Macron launched En Marche!

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Emmanuel Macron during the presentation of the delegates En Marche in October 2016. (THOMAS PADILLA / MAXPPP)

“I decided that we would create a political movement”: five years ago Emmanuel Macron launched En Marche! On April 6, 2016, Emmanuel Macron, then Minister of Economy, launched En Marche! , a movement that did not rank according to him “not to the right, not to the left”. Five years later, the party’s ambitions have changed. 

It was on April 6, 2016, just five years ago in Amiens, the birthplace of Emmanuel Macron: “I decided that we were going to create a political movement”, says Emmanuel Macron, then Minister of Economy of François Hollande, who continues: “a political movement that will not be on the right, that will not be on the left. It is not a movement to have yet another presidential candidate, it is not my priority today”.
Emmanuel Macron finally became a candidate, then president of the Republic. En Marche! , on his side, became La République en Marche. And to blow out the fifth candle of the movement, the party will be sober… and virtual. A video-meeting is scheduled at 19:30 Tuesday evening, with the party figures, two ministers announced, Marlène Schiappa and Sébastien Lecornu; and especially the video messages of two Prime Ministers: the current one, Jean Castex, and his predecessor Edouard Philippe. Unless surprised, the head of state will not be present.

A succession of slamming doors

This fifth anniversary will take place after a strong period of turbulence within the movement, marked by a series of departures including that of Pierre Person in September.The number 2 of the party had then slammed the door of the leadership to denounce an organization without ideas and turned inward.Just before him, in August, it was the member for the Meuse, Émilie Cariou, who had left the ranks.

For her, LREM “It’s not even a godillot party, it’s a party that has no substance, that doesn’t actually exist. It’s a non-partisan party.”
After the municipal rout, the party seems to have very little hope for the regionals. LREM had even received a zero point in the six partial legislative elections of the fall, with no candidate qualified for the second round.Émilie Cariou also points out an ideological drift in the wake of the government. We carried a program that was intended to be centre, centre-left and we ended up with a government that is dominated by right-wing themes. It is a liberal right, which no longer even has the sense of solidarity in our country. LREM is the new right-wing party,’ continues the member.

Émilie CARIOU is now co-chairing her own party, the New Democrats, with Aurélien Taché, the left wing of the movement that has taken over. It denounces problems of substance, organization or lack of internal democracy. So much so that the New Democrats will not support Emmanuel Macron if he runs again, but a left-wing candidate in 2022.

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Charges dismissed by management

For its part, the leadership of LREM defends itself from any right-wing drift and contests the alleged absence of internal democracy. It puts forward the renewal of local committees with elections and also claims 420,000 members, even if a simple click is enough to be recorded in these statistics and there is no contribution.

“I readily admit that En Marche! had everything to do at the same time”, reacts the general delegate of the movement Stanislas Guérini. “We were created on the occasion of the presidential election, we had to carry out a work of implantation, accompany and defend the action of the government. And then look to the future and produce ideas, but it is true that we have sometimes had difficulty in bringing these ideas into the political debate, and it remains a teaching to be perhaps more offensive,’ he believes.

“Causes” to bring back to the platforms

To be more offensive, the macronist party launches what it calls its “causes”, an internet platform to collect citizen contributions on all types of topics: animal welfare, LGBT rights, parity in business… In his local committee in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, Richard Franco, 64, defends the volunteerism of senior citizens. It is a young movement, with a lot on its back,’ he says. It is true that the times may have come to identify causes and that these causes are truly borne by a group of individuals and not just by walkers.”

This is precisely the objective pursued by the Republic on the March. For Stanislas Guérini, the French want to be involved today, not to be encased: “The commitment has never been stronger in the associative life of the country. Sometimes to carry petitions, hundreds of thousands of people sometimes commit themselves to a cause,” says the party’s general delegate.

In addition to coming out of the walls, the movement will also buy new, larger, more functional ones. La République en Marche will leave the rue Sainte-Anne in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris for the rue du Rocher in the chic 8th arrondissement.Premises of 2,800 m2 for 35 million euros, the privilege of the richest party in France.Thanks to its legislative results, LREM has €22.5 million in public funding each year and €112 million over the five-year period.

Source : FranceTVinfo

       

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