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French Center-Right Leader Announces Desire for Pact with Le Pen

In an interview with Télévision Française 1, Éric Ciotti, the leader of France’s center-right and establishment Les Républicains (LR) party, announced that he wanted to see the birth of “an alliance with the Rassemblement National (RN)” and his own party. 

Ciotti elaborated that “the country expects acts [governance] of the right” and that an LR–RN alliance presents an opportunity for right-wing governance.

Ciotti also announced that he had met with RN leaders Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella to discuss the possible right-wing coalition to face a potential left-wing one. Ciotti declared that the RN-LR alliance can form a majority to effectuate its right-wing ideas.

Responding on X to Ciotti, Bardella declared “Let us unite to fight the chaos of migration, reestablish authority and order, and support the purchasing power of the French.”

At the same time, Le Pen’s RN has entirely ruled out working with the right-wing Reconquête party of Eric Zemmour and Marion Maréchal. Though Zemmour had met with Le Pen and Bardella yesterday to discuss plans for a combined electoral list, the RN leaders changed their minds in their announcement today. It is unclear whether this was due to personal or ideological differences. 

Reconquête is to the right of RN, particularly on social issues, and Le Pen has a tense relationship with Maréchal, her niece, due to a “feud” caused by Maréchal’s support of Zemmour over Le Pen in the 2022 presidential elections.

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