Olivier Marleix, 51, deputy for Eure-et-Loir, did not expect to take the lead of the LR group in such an upset Assembly. Son of former minister Alain Marleix, this representative of the conservative wing of LR had sponsored Laurent Wauquiez in 2017 in the race for the head of the party, then Michel Barnier in the primary of 2021. Today at the helm and supporter of ‘a clear and clear line of opposition, he refuses any coalition agreement, but does not close the door to votes on a case-by-case basis, on each text. The Les Républicains party, which has 61 deputies, will be proactive upstream, he assures us. Without forgetting to make Emmanuel Macron responsible for the current situation. For Le Point, he outlines the red lines of the next legislature.
Le Point: You have just been elected to the presidency of the Les Républicains group in the National Assembly. Will you be a first opponent or a constructive parliamentarian?
During his speech on Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron demanded from the parliamentary groups to say “how far they will be ready to go”. You have 48 hours. Is this an ultimatum?
Yes, quite awkwardly, this address takes the form of an ultimatum. It is certainly not the most skillful way to start a discussion in “listening and dialogue”, in the words used by the head of state last night. In any case, he proposed an alternative: a coalition of government parties or agreements on a case-by-case basis, depending on the texts.
We exclude the first proposal, that of a coalition, because we were not elected on the same project. But we will have no other choice but to dialogue on the texts. We are ready for it to move the country forward, but that requires respect.
However, there is great ambiguity in the proposals made by Emmanuel Macron, such as asking for an a priori agreement on adherence to the proposed texts before even knowing them. It would be a coalition in disguise. He refers to his presidential project but, frankly, who took anything away? It was blurry…
This presidential election, which was very largely evaded by his will, does not allow him to claim a strong political pact with the French.
Today, the three groups emerging from this Assembly, Together! and its two by-products, Nupes and RN, actually feed on this French division.
Your position is clear: no coalition and negotiation according to each text?
Yes, the president’s proposal remains quite ambiguous: he asks for a coalition, but on his project, he proposes a discussion on a case-by-case basis, but suggests that it will have to be in line with his project… He seems to be asking for a “blank check” , obviously it can’t work that way. If the French did not give him a majority, it is because they wanted to force him into dialogue and respect, it is up to him to create, on all subjects, the context favorable to this dialogue. We, the Republicans, will make the effort to say before the presentation of the texts by the government and the ministers what are the concrete advances that we hope for the French and what will be our red lines.
Your group is losing a significant number of parliamentarians. How do you hope to weigh in an Assembly that promises to be agitated, between the Nupes and the National Rally?
In reality, we have a position, let’s say original, which also depends on the projects supported by our adversaries. This National Assembly is the product of Emmanuel Macron’s political calculation, that of a calculation of the fracturing of the country. He himself has created divisions, when he says for example, “I’m going to piss off the non-vaccinated”, when he talks about the French who succeed and those who are nothing, when he shows his lack of interest in rural territories. It caused fractures in the country. Today, the three groups emerging from this Assembly, Together! and its two by-products, Nupes and RN, actually feed on this French division.
This assembly is the obvious result of the cleverly organized destruction of the republican right and the government left. We are the only Republicans to still carry a project of national cohesion. Jean-Luc Mélenchon divides the French into rich and poor, while Marine Le Pen maintains other well-known divisions. We are, with our elected officials, the few to carry a singular voice: we cannot resolve to the disappearance of a project of national cohesion, a demanding cohesion, through work, effort, respect for authority , but also solidarity between generations or between territories.
We will make sure that the “text by text” method cannot look like arrangements made on the corner of a table.
Aren’t you afraid that you too will be held responsible if the country were to be completely blocked?
Some within your political family, among the deputies, plead for a total opposition. What do you tell them?
No, no one will go that route, but just for anyone who was worried, we will make sure that the “text by text” method cannot look like arrangements made on the corner of the table. It is on this method, on this project, that I was elected to the presidency of the group Les Républicains. The group is unanimous on this issue.
Others consider a dissolution inevitable eventually, perhaps in 6 months or a year. Is that also your belief?
No, I don’t believe, because that would mean that there would be no recourse, that the president himself would not have made the necessary efforts to achieve the dialogue he calls for. A dissolution would probably lead to an even worse situation for the Head of State. You may not have noticed but, during his speech, he made the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, disappear. Unsurprisingly, Emmanuel Macron takes on a new responsibility where he would be in turn President, Prime Minister, and finally Minister in charge of Relations with Parliament.
Will you be able to keep one of the three questures of the National Assembly, a position held by the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes Éric Ciotti?
Logically yes, we will fight to maintain the means of operation that we had before.
As for the roost?
Republican tradition dictates that each opposition group present its own candidate. We have announced the candidacy of Annie Genevard, MP for Doubs and Vice-President of the National Assembly.
A congress of your political family is planned for the fall which must decide on the next presidency of LR. Have you decided to support a particular personality? Laurent Wauquiez, for example, whose name is circulating insistently these days?
Listen, it’s very far. I haven’t heard yet that Laurent has decided to be a candidate.