While videos of very hesitant Macronist candidates on television sets are circulating on the Internet, several of them have refused the debates between the two rounds.
“A kind of lowering and democratic collapse”. The candidate Les Républicains (LR) Hervé Novelli does not mince his words after the refusal of his opponent LREM Fabienne Colboc, who came first (34,39%), to debate against him by the second round. The televised confrontation of the first round "must have played in her refusal to debate, because we could clearly see that she did not master the files", estimates the candidate who is running in Indre-et-Loire, "I think that there has the will not to take risks”. A reference to a debate from which extracts, posted on Youtube by the candidate's detractors, have become objects of mockery on social networks. In this activist video, we see her put in difficulty by a question about the French social model. “My strength is the field (…), which is why I refused the other debate”, justified the candidate with France Blue Touraine, after recognizing on TV Towers missed the debate.
Same situation in the Rhône, where the candidate who came in first position (32,08%), Anissa Khedher, declined the invitation tolocal media to strike the iron in front of the cameras. "It's the Republic on the run," says his opponent LR-UDI Alexandre Vincendet, who broadcasts the video of the first debate where the candidate LREM, stammering, reads a sheet containing the elements of language of Emmanuel's party Macron and admits his incompetence to position himself on the abolition of the parliamentary reserve. Anissa Khedher motivated on Facebook his choice to boycott the exchange with his competitor: “It has unfortunately become a habit, adversaries peddle gossip, defame, seek to slander me by calling me incompetent, claiming to be inexperienced and even submissive (…). So yes, I cannot accept a televised debate where I know in advance that my arguments will give way to invective, where defamation will prevent any exchange as some documents currently broadcast very well suggest.
Like Hervé Novelli and Alexandre Vincendet, several LR candidates complain of not being able to debate with their opponent LREM. This is the case of Guillaume Larrivé in Yonne, Nicolas Florian in Gironde, Jean-Michel Fourgous in Yvelines, Arnaud de Courson in Clichy and Nicolas Dhuicq in Troyes where the only triangular takes place with three candidates present in the second round. FN Jean Messiha, in Aisne, says he faces a "ghost candidate" after the debates against him, on television and in the local press, were aborted. Eric Coquerel, of France Insoumise (FI), deplores the end of inadmissibility that the Macronist candidate Sébastien Ménard opposed to him. "I don't even know if the LREM candidates are capable of defending Macron's program," says Jean-Luc Mélenchon's support. In his camp, the FI candidate Pascal Le Brun, in the Rhône, turned his competitor's refusal in a communication blow against him: he hosted a mock debate where a voiceover simulates the responses of the LREM candidate. “We feel very well that there is a national instruction which must result from the services of a rather average quality of the candidates”, estimates the LR Guy Geoffroy, largely preceded by a candidate LREM in the 9th district of Seine-et-Marne .
"The men and women who have the answer to everything worry me," says Jean-Paul Delevoye
“No instructions” from the party have been given to these candidates, it is an “individual decision”, denies Jean-Pierre Delevoye, president of the commission responsible for choosing and investing the Macronist candidates. And to slay the incompetence lawsuits that target them: "What a claim of the system to think that only experienced candidates can access the office of deputy!". "The men and women who have the answer to everything worry me," he continues to the Figaro, “candidates who display their weaknesses, that interests me”. “What I expect from a parliamentarian is common sense, listening, empathy (…), it is certainly not superiority”.
The refusals to debate "do not shock" Jean-Paul Delevoye. "This strikes the candidates of all parties, it's not just En Marche!, and therefore we must not generalize a phenomenon", he judges with the Figaro, preferring that “the debate takes place with citizen juries (…) rather than in the form of a theatrical stage in which the debate does not contribute anything”.
The LREM candidates are not the only ones to rule out scrapping in a debate before the second round. Minister Richard Ferrand, LREM candidate in Finistère, thus deplored the “sad evasion” of his opponent LR. "Pitiful evasion," denounced Jean-Marie Le Pen in similar terms, after Jacques Chirac's refusal to participate in the debate between the two presidential rounds in 2002.
Source: © Le Figaro Premium – Legislative: accused of incompetence, several LREM candidates flee the debates