Invested by the presidential majority to represent the French abroad, Manuel Valls was eliminated on Sunday in the first round, a new fiasco for the former Prime Minister after the failure of his candidacy for municipal elections in Barcelona.
“I take note of the results (…) If the dissent and the division have sown confusion, I cannot ignore my score and the fact that my candidacy did not convince”, he said on Twitter , even before the official results were published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It is up to me lucidly to draw the consequences. Life is good enough to quietly turn the pages,” added Mr. Valls.
Before calling to block in the second round the candidate of Nupes, Renaud Le Berre, who came first in this fifth constituency of French people living abroad, which includes Spain, Portugal, Monaco and Andorra and has around 120,000 registered voters.
In the evening, Mr. Valls’ Twitter account, all of whose tweets had been deleted, displayed a closing message (“this account does not exist”).
The former Minister of the Interior won 4,024 votes, behind Roland Le Berre (6,942) and Stéphane Vojetta (6,123), outgoing deputy elected under the colors of La République en Marche (LREM), according to official results.
The announcement on May 5 of the investiture of the former Prime Minister had the effect of a bomb in this constituency, especially among French people residing in Spain.
Stéphane Vojetta had decided to stand up to this “parachuting” while promising, if elected, to remain “a loyal support” of Emmanuel Macron. Arriving in second position, he called on the presidential majority on Sunday evening to “unite behind (his) candidacy”.
“But it must also take note of the message sent by the voters: a requirement for less verticality, more listening to the field, and a real renewal of our practices and our political personnel”, he said. added.
The result of the first round “means that I was, from the beginning, right in the perception that I had of the feelings of the voters”, he then told AFP.
The choice of the presidential majority to invest Manuel Valls was “an erroneous decision” on the “electoral potential” of the former Prime Minister, who “suffered from rejection in particular in Spain”, he continued. .
For these legislative elections, Manuel Valls thought he could rally voters thanks to his CV and his network.
“My only candidacy has put the spotlight on French people living abroad,” he explained in an interview with AFP in Madrid. “I want the French to benefit from my experience and my influence, (…) from my strong voice”, he insisted.
His failure marks a new setback for this former heavyweight of the Socialist Party who had left French political life four years ago to try in vain in 2019 for the town hall of Barcelona, his hometown.
Convinced of being able to “win” these municipal elections, after his failure in 2017 in the socialist primaries for the French presidential election, he only came fourth with around 13% of the vote behind the Catalan independence candidate and the outgoing left-wing mayor Ada Colau who been renewed.
In a relationship with Susana Gallardo, wealthy heiress of a Catalan pharmaceutical company, Manuel Valls had finally left the Barcelona city council in 2021 to return to France as a columnist in RMC and BFMTV broadcasts.
This new failure of the former Prime Minister was particularly mocked by the Nupes.
“It’s what we call a good Sunday evening to start the last week of the campaign in France!”, tweeted Manon Aubry, MEP for La France insoumise while Adrien Quatennens, number two of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party , published a photo of the latter and other LFI parliamentarians waving “Good riddance” signs.
06/06/2022 17:45:04 – Madrid (AFP) – 2022 AFP