Harmony and Unity at UMP National Council

Jean-François Copé Photo: Cheep975, Wikimedia Commons

Jean-François Copé
Photo: Cheep975, Wikimedia Commons

The battle for the pre-presidential primary election, in which Nicolas Sarkozy appears to be ever present, is again on everyone’s mind. However, several weeks before key Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) elections, the parties worked to show their unity at the national council in Paris, on Jan. 25. It was stated that “unity” and “gathering” were the driving forces behind this meeting, with many participants making efforts to see past their own ideals, and focus on a larger picture of fairness for France.

In the Equinox room, in the 25th arrondissement, hundreds of executives, elected officials, and local UMP representatives, who made up the 2000 person “parliament,” participated in an intense program. In addition to the presentation of a new program, as a “charter of good practices” for towns, the UMP created a high authority for ensuring organization and proper conduct in the 2017 primary, overseen by lawyer Anne Levade.

Anxious to forget the troubles faced last winter, catastrophic for the UMP in terms of popularity, nearly all of the party heavyweights, supporters of Jean-François Copé and François Fillon ,as well as individuals not aligned with any party were present, in an amicable atmosphere. The following subjects were put up to vote at the assembly, in addition to others: 91% voted for the aforementioned project for towns, 90% voted for the high authority, and 88% voted for the Rules Committee, which would oversee elections to ensure absolute fairness. The unity put forth by individuals at the assembly was shown in the high numbers favoring more rules and regulations, to ensure that elections are conducted fairly.

The tribunes all emphasized the keyword of the day: “unity.” “We are gathered”, because “unity, it is also the freedom of conscience and responsibility. Diversity is the party, the division serves the opponent, so he must stop between the two,” said the former head of government Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who played the ringmaster at the meeting. “Let us be united, gathered together, and may the talented people [within the UMP] be careful what they say outside,” warned Jean-Claude Gaudin, a candidate likely to succeed in elections in Marseille, without directly mentioning any names.

Surprisingly, there were some individuals who did not take part in the vote, having arrived later in the afternoon. One of these was Fillon, the previous Prime Minister and runner-up in the election with current UMP president Copé, who was present to participate in the voting. Alain Juppé’s absence was also felt at the national council meeting. This was explained officially as a matter of of scheduling, with his entourage claiming that he was in the country; however, the previous prime minister himself had stated that he would be too “uncomfortable” voting for a project with “such a liberal” flavor. Luc Chatel criticized those who say that “the UMP should not be too liberal”, alluding to without quoting Juppé. “If we do not speak of liberty to the French, who will speak? ” he added. Chatel is considered a federalist, being more traditional than other UMP members.

Copé, who closed the day with a powerful speech, spoke in defense of his vision of the European Union, walking a fiscal tightrope not meaning to offend neither the Federalists, nor the separatists (the current popular right). “It is Europe that should lead us to the future…” he said, indicating a strong belief in the EU and what it does for Europe.

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  1. […] Harmony and unity at UMP national council. The battle for the pre-presidential primary election, in which Nicolas Sarkozy appears to be ever present, is again on everyone’s mind. However, several weeks before key Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) elections, the parties worked to show their unity at the national council in Paris, on Jan. 25. It was stated that “unity” and “gathering” were the driving forces behind this meeting, with many participants making efforts to see past their own ideals and focus on a larger picture of fairness for France. […]

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