He has traveled more than 5,000 kilometers in his electoral campaign on the Iberian Peninsula. Between his time in Seville and the Canary Islands, Stephane Vojetta makes a technical stop in Madrid, where he attends to LA RAZÓN. The deputy of the National Assembly for La República En Marcha and candidate for the 5th constituency managed to advance to the second round of the legislative elections with the 25.39% of the votes of the French in Portugal, Spain, Andorra and Monaco. This Sunday he will face the NUPES candidate, Renaud LeBerre, in the French legislature.
Can there be “cohabitation” in France?
I don’t think it will happen. It is still a very unlikely scenario, although of course the left united under the banner of NUPES pretends to believe in it and Mélenchon fantasizes about ending up as prime minister in Matignon. However, looking at the figures, it is more likely that the left will get between 150 and 200 seats, which is far from being able to form a majority. The real question that arises now is whether the grouped political formations will really be able to form a majority, that is, exceed 289 seats. At the moment, it seems that it will be quite close.
What would it mean for France, because in Spain enacting laws and governing in coalition is quite complicated… Will it slow down the agenda of Macron?
Yes, definitely. In fact, Edward Philippe He has expressed himself in this regard saying that it would be crazy not to give Macron the ability to govern when he has just been re-elected for the next five years. And I’m telling you, although we haven’t seen it yet, it’s clear that it would greatly slow down the implementation of the program and the reforms.
The tremendous abstention (52.3%) was also clear. In the second round, with so many far-left candidates, will the French mobilize more?
In some ways it may be good news that Mélenchon has been confirmed in his role as the bad guy in the film. Bad in the sense that he clearly states that NUPES is an anti-Europe and anti-system government, which in the end wants to break all the rules with which we have advanced together in recent decades. This does scare people a bit, perhaps not as much as in Spain, but Mélenchon’s Bolivarian models are there, although now in the campaign, he tries to hide it, because he obviously wants to win. Hopefully reasonable people who want to govern in a balanced way mobilize. Likewise, I believe that the left must also mobilize its ranks if it wants to win. It will be a decisive factor on Sunday. And it is that if the results of the parties of the first round of the presidential ones are added, the left has obtained a worse result in these elections. On April 10 all together: the rebellious, the communists, the socialists… got 31%, on Sunday, 25.66%. Macron’s party has also dropped, but just 1%. Indeed, the left sings victory, but watch out for mirages.
What is Macron’s strategy for this key week?
The truth is that Macron has not positioned himself much either, he maintains his international agenda. He hasn’t been very involved in the campaign. It has not been a very active campaign by the presidential majority, and this has probably been a mistake. We have to get used to –since we are various political movements grouped with various leaders: Francois Bayrou, Edward Philippe…– who also have to campaign and not always wait for Macron to come and rescue everyone with his big speeches. It is true that the campaign started late on both sides. There were controversies over the nominations of candidates in each constituency – like the one here – and this has perhaps led to a shift away from the main political messages to focus more on the specific situations of each territory. But now it is clear that there are two blocks, two very clear and very divergent ambitions, and people already want to position themselves.
Speaking of controversies, how did you feel when Manuel Valls was suddenly imposed as a candidate? Did you feel disappointed?
Surprised. Until then they had told me from Paris that there was not going to be a candidacy for Valls – that he was interested – but that they were going to give him another area abroad, not the Iberian Peninsula. I agreed, not only for my own interest, but particularly because when we buy a candidate for elections, it is to win them. To win an election we need someone who is popular or at least not unpopular with voters. Valls has a worse image in Spain since his time in politics at the Barcelona City Council. No one in Spain or France ended up understanding it very well. In addition, there were some changes of direction that surprised everyone and the image of Valls, who continues to be a very notable and respectable politician, has been damaged. That he resigned more than a year ago, saying “goodbye, Spain, I’m going back to France” and now he returns asking for the votes of the French here who have seen everything in the media, because it was a very bad idea. When they told me, I was cold: What a mistake we just made! My second reaction was: it doesn’t seem fair to me after I’ve done a loyal job and appreciated by my voters, to give me this blow!
Did you get the feeling that the candidates from other parties when they found out it was Valls instead of you, did they rub their hands together?
Against me – they thought and they were right – that it was going to be more complicated. The French in my constituency know me well and 75% of the votes come from Spain. In addition, I was coming out of a successful presidential campaign for Macron, I being the face of the president in Spain… When suddenly in Paris they decide to send an unpopular candidate out of the way, because obviously they rubbed their hands together.
Why should the electorate of Spain and Portugal, Monaco and Andorra vote for you and not for the NUPES candidate?
First, because in the first round the electorate has already given a clear answer: that Valls was a mistake and that he was going to lose against the left in the second round. I can win and the electorate agreed with me. Now, voters have to decide between two very different models, not macronism. It is either a deputy who is going to support a majority government, supported by President Macron and who wants to implement the presidential program that has been backed by voters a month ago, or a candidate who, although he tries to hide it and disguise, behind him is Mélenchon. If he becomes a deputy and his political party manages to form a government, he will vote for Mélenchon to be Prime Minister. And the program that he will have to implement will be the program of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. This is the decision that the French from Portugal, Andorra, France, Monaco and Spain have to make now.