After distributing leaflets on the Hayange market (Moselle) on Thursday morning, Raphaëlle Rosa returns home to revise her philosophy baccalaureate, before leaving in the afternoon to stick up posters: at 18, she is the youngest French candidate for the legislative elections, invested by Les Républicains.

“I will be a deputy on the ground,” says the young woman, who, if elected on June 19, wishes to “represent the youth and the inhabitants” of Hayange, a city symbol of the deindustrialization led by the National Rally since 2014.

A little further down the aisles of the market, the candidate of the National Rally, Laurent Jacobelli, spokesperson for Marine Le Pen, is also campaigning.

No question for Raphaëlle Rosa of “being impressed” by this heavyweight of the RN: he may be “in territory conquered by the far right” but he is, according to her, “parachuted” into this 8th constituency of the Moselle, where nine candidates are in the running.

“He does not know the habits of the people, what it is to live here on a daily basis”, she underlines, in a district of 130,000 inhabitants which has nearly 20% of poor households.

“Long live youth!” Says a trader, while the youngest of the candidates, who blew out her 18 candles on April 10, hands out leaflets to passers-by. Many welcome the commitment of this novice candidate.

“And why not? Let’s change the old ones!” exclaims Marthe Freywald, a 78-year-old retiree. “Young people have more brains than old people”, abounds a little further Danielle Launoy, 67, also retired, who would welcome the arrival of young deputies in the National Assembly. The outgoing, Brahim Hammouche (Modem), is 51 years old.

And for Sandra Marquant, if 18 is “a bit young” to present herself, “we need renewal” in politics. The 29-year-old, looking for a job in sales, finds it “normal” for her generation “to be represented by young people”.

“Despite his age, Raphaëlle Rosa carries the values ​​and projects very well” of the Republicans, believes Fabien Di Filippo, president of the LR federation of Moselle, himself a deputy and candidate for re-election in the 4th district of the department.

“We cannot rebuild our political family as it should be if we always come back with the same faces and certain figures who have disappointed”, insists the elected official. “This shows that the Republican right is capable of raising young people”.

Around noon, while the traders are starting to pack up, Raphaëlle Rosa returns home to revise her philosophy, the bac test takes place on June 15, then she leaves in the afternoon to stick posters on the electoral panels.

Her busy days are organized by the hour, but she does not see revisions as a constraint, believing on the contrary that studying helps her “to keep her feet on the ground”.

She wants to join a Parisian university in September, in law or political science, and if she is not elected this year, she does not intend to stop politics, “a profession that is learned on the ground”.

Family discussions led her to take an interest in politics and to take her card from Les Républicains from the age of 15, when her parents and cousins ​​vote “rather on the left”, she says.

Her models in politics are Jacques Chirac, an “exciting man”, and Rachida Dati, “an extraordinary woman who managed to forge herself”.

Raphaëlle Rosa says she wants to “defend the values ​​of the Republican right”, says she is “deeply attached to Gaullism” and judges that the right should “not give up” despite Valérie Pécresse’s poor score in the first round of the presidential election (4 .7%).

“Raphaëlle was immersed in an environment where there is debate” and “her choice of party belongs to her”, adds her father, Robert Rosa, 51, whose heart leans rather to the left. If he is “proud” of his daughter whom he “supports”, he does not however hide his “parental anxiety” and “remains vigilant because politics is a cruel world”.

04/06/2022 17:48:06 – Hayange (France) (AFP) – © 2022 AFP