The negotiations are accelerating for the strategic presidency of the Finance Committee in the National Assembly: the left-wing coalition chose a common candidate on Tuesday, the Insoumis Eric Coquerel, putting in difficulty the candidate RN Jean-Philippe Tanguy, in search of of allies on the right.

Thursday morning behind closed doors and by secret ballot, the members of the commission will vote for the allocation of this key function, devolved to a deputy from an opposition group.

The battle is as bitter as the coveted position. The Finance Committee, which examines all draft budgets before they are examined in the Chamber, is one of the most powerful and prestigious in the Assembly.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne promised last week that the majority would “respect traditions” and not take part in the ballot, leaving the opposition to organize itself.

“We wash our hands of it, we don’t have to get involved” and “not sure there is a good solution”, comments an LREM deputy.

Numerically, the left alliance Nupes (LFI, PS, EELV, PCF) seems favorite with its common candidate.

The choice of Eric Coquerel was formalized at the start of the afternoon on Tuesday, just before the first session of the legislature, when the socialist Valérie Rabault was interested in the post. She was entitled to a consolation prize with a candidacy for the vice-presidency of the Assembly, alongside Caroline Fiat (LFI).

The hypothesis of a rotating presidency of the Finance Committee with Valérie Rabault “was mentioned” but dismissed because it “would reinforce the bad trial on the lack of seriousness of our candidate”, explained the deputy LFI Manuel Bompard, close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

During the previous legislature, Eric Coquerel was already a member of the Finance Committee, which has some 70 deputies.

At the RN, we shout at “the piracy of the Nupes on all the posts of the National Assembly”.

The far-right group believes that the post should go to it thanks to its 89 deputies, against some 75 rebels, around thirty socialists, 23 environmentalists and around twenty communists.

In the eyes of the RN candidate, Jean-Philippe Tanguy, the Nupes is “breaking with republican practice”, by not leaving the presidency of the commission to the largest opposition group.

The custom prevailed so far without appearing in the regulations which simply stipulate that the post must go to an elected member of an opposition group.

Ultimate hope for the RN, trying to win votes at LR, which also presents a candidate Véronique Louwagie (Orne).

The president of the LR group Olivier Marleix spoke on LCP of “a somewhat difficult choice” between Tanguy and Coquerel. “La Nupes could have made a choice that was probably a little more consensual” with Valérie Rabault, he said.

A graduate of Essec and Sciences Po, Jean-Philippe Tanguy tries to play the serious card in order to distinguish himself from the rebellious.

And some Republicans are not insensitive to it, even if the president LR of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, declared on LCI on Tuesday that he did not want deputies from his camp to support the RN.

“I do not really see the interest for Les Républicains to make the short scale of a president who would come from the RN”, considers Mr. Coquerel.

“What is important is the good performance of the Finance Committee,” said a right-wing deputy to AFP.

His colleague Philippe Gosselin asks the majority to take part in the vote to support… Véronique Louwagie (LR).

Because elected officials LR and LREM are already accusing LFI of wanting to use certain prerogatives of the presidency of the commission, such as access to documents covered by tax secrecy, for political purposes.

“It’s of the same ilk as all the fake news they circulate,” retorts Eric Coquerel. “We are not going to use this as a political weapon against personalities. On the other hand, yes, we want to take strong action on questions of tax evasion”.

Allied with Emmanuel Macron, the ex-LR and outgoing chairman of the Finance Committee, Eric Woerth, does not cast anathema on Eric Coquerel, who “was a completely serious commissioner”. But with LFI in the presidency, “we change the nature of the opposition”, he believes.

06/28/2022 16:16:04 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP