During his inauguration as the mayor of le Havre (Seine-Maritime), the former Prime minister said he is “happy” in “the most beautiful mandate that the Republic can offer”.
The Havre, 5 July. Re-elected mayor, the former Prime minister Edouard Philippe offers a bath of crowd, by the side of Jean-Baptiste Gastinne, his first deputy. LP/Olivier CorsanPar Henri Vernet, special envoy in le Havre (Seine-Maritime)On July 5, 2020 at 17h21
“I need to get back to my habits,” smiles Edouard Philippe, who no longer remembers very well of the protocol and of the uses of a municipal council, chairing its first meeting at Havre, that he has recently been reunited after three years at Matignon, and three days after his resignation from the post of Prime minister. In the audience, his (ex -) minister of public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, and his faithful lieutenant, mep Gilles Boyer.
A few minutes earlier, he was named mayor of the major port city (170 000 inhabitants). Pure formality after his victory in the second round with 58.8 per cent of the vote against the communist Jean-Paul Lecoq. Has the proclamation of the result of the vote on Sunday morning (47 votes for Philip, 12 to Lecoq), the former First minister stands up, cheered by the municipal councillors with their faces covered by surgical mask, and receives the scarf tricolor by the outgoing mayor, Jean-Baptiste Gastinne, which ensured its “interim” and became the first deputy.
Those who are facing an allusion to the national policy in his first speech after the Matignon are disappointed. Or almost nothing, except an urgent call to fight against abstention. “We need to convince our fellow citizens to participate,” said Philippe. Voting is a civic duty and good citizenship is the cement of a nation, of a city “. The new mayor also picks up on this campaign ” very special “. Particular in the first round, with a violence unusual in le Havre. “In the midst of pension reform, the city became the capital of the opposition, its permanence has been tagged, the windows broken,” says a colistière. Particular also because of the pandemic of Covid-19, of which Edouard Philippe is committed ” to erase the traces in the two years to come “.
All the same, this allusion to the microcosm of political paris. Calling to have ” the ambition “, he slips immediately : “You should always be careful. In France it is a word that is charged to your debit ! “But today, Edouard Philippe turns the page and is dedicated to the Havrais. “Happy” in “the most beautiful mandate that the Republic can offer,” he said before a walkabout in the drizzle. “We are here “, lance-t-il to a toddler perched on the shoulders of his father. He salutes fist against fist – no handshake – the people massed on the course, connects the selfies, relishing the moment.
“This is someone who is not proud, he found the sea and the city that he loves,” says Agnes, 52 years old, retired due to illness. But it shall bring us back the sun, take care of people in precarious situations. “” He looks tired though “, said a lady. “Ah yes, he had to suffer,” slice his girlfriend. “A return to the sources for the Prime minister, it’s a pleasure, I’m sure he will put the heart into his work, and rejoices Augustine, an executive in the glass industry. But he will return one day to his destiny national : president of the Republic ! “Then back to” his ” mayor, Edouard Philippe, smiling, waves to the crowd… the raised fist.
The Havre, 5 July. The former Prime minister Edouard Philippe at the exit of the municipal council who was re-elected mayor./LP /Olivier Corsan
“This is a man loyal and faithful”
And this mission with the majority that had entrusted him with Emmanuel Macron ? Gilles Boyer nuance. “This has been referred to in the incident in his interview with the president, but it knows neither the contours nor the methods, it deserves a conversation of more depth at the back… The idea would be to create structures, sas, to attract elected officials who, today, are struggling to be located either in the opposition or in the presidential majority “. Clearly, in order to ” make work again the beam “, as they say Edouard Philippe. “But he didn’t expect it to be made public,” says Boyer.
The Elysée palace would release too quickly, as if to “tie up” a Prime minister with a popularity rating enviable. Could he create a party ? “This is not in his plans, smiled his former adviser at Matignon. In any event, Edward will assist the president of the Republic to be re-elected, to the place that will be hers. This is a man loyal and faithful. “