Presidential elections in France: Pro-Russian Fillon vs moderate Juppe

Author : Olesia Tytarenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Overall candidacy of Alain Juppe is more favorable for Ukraine, at least with regard to his attitude to Russia
18:52, 24 November 2016

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Fillon vs Juppe

Politically sweet-sharp 2016 year made the US the highest skyscraper of Trump, led Britain from the European Union, and might touch French Republic, which is already actively preparing for presidential elections 2017.

Preliminary election of right and center, also known as primaries, November 20 launched an active cycle of training. Seven candidates would get to the final, among them are former prime minister Francois Fillon (44.1%) and Alain Juppe (28.6%). From these candidates the voters would elect the chief "right" that spring 2017 will compete with the Socialists and the National Front for the presidency.

Related: French parliament dismissed impeachment call against Hollande

Sarkozy was denied to stand for the upcoming presidential elections

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy obtained 20.6% and occured outside the playing field. Neither change in 2015, the party's name on this already familiar "Republicans" nor equally known promises to "make the French nation great again " nor even slightly comic positioning himself as the candidate of the people and against the elite did not save him from today's political shock. "It is time to move away from the focus on public and private," commented Sarkozy his retirement from politics. The conclusion from this is simple: Use the revival of the nation does not always work, especially if you are not Trump, and your party has nothing to do with the Republican Party of the United States. Sarkozy has realized today, although he is still convinced that only he could withstand the elections with Marine Le Pen and the National Front.

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Who are they, the main "rights"?

Actually, the idea of political and economic revival of the state in this year's primaries is key one. It will be important in the upcoming presidential elections, but with a focus on domestic policies and values of the parties. It is not surprising that its presentability with sufficient validity election programs brought Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe in the final preliminary election of the right.

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Both candidates are united by the experience in politics, government and numerous ministerial portfolios. So the right candidates on elections 2017 will bid on experience, which, in terms of voter should be sufficient as to address issues concerning the length of the working week and for probable negotiations on the creation of a new Eurozone. Undoubtedly, both will focus on the return of former greatness of France. But Juppe will focus on restoring the authority and strengthen the role of the President, but Fillon will add to this the deep economic and social transformation.

François Fillon: the new Schengen Agreement, broad cooperation with Russia, lifting of sanctions

So, Francois Fillon. For nearly five years he has served as prime minister in Sarkozy's government (2007-2012), was Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, managed to get in the governments of Chirac and Mitterrand as Minister of National Education, Higher Education and research, Minister of social Affairs, Labour and solidarity, the Minister of Posts and telecommunications, has long worked in the department of Sarthe Senate, led the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire. The last four years of the second deputy electoral district of Paris, last month one of the most radical right-wing Thatcherist of these primaries.

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In domestic policy, Fillon promises to abolish the 35-hour working week and allow businesses to establish their rule within 48 hours allowed by European legislation, to lower the retirement age to 65 and cut 500 thousand public officials, a potential candidate of the "right" favorably to rapprochement with Russia. Especially in the fight against the Islamic state and the resolution of the Syrian conflict.

In the Ukrainian issue, Fillon sees sometimes too much American influence, which promotes understanding of distortions in Europe. According to him, Russia has never sought to annex Ukraine and sanctions need to be removed because they hurt cooperation in the fight against Islamists and the agricultural sector in France. For Fillon, Ukrainian crisis is European deal, which should be solved only with Russia, and no one speaks on Ukraine's membership in the EU.

Related: BBC: Nicolas Sarkozy to seek French presidency again

In summary, if he wins, this candidate will act more in the strategic interest of France that sometimes discord with European and Ukrainian ones.

Alain Juppe: Eurozone reform, economic security and "stop" for Russia

The second candidate of previous elections of "right" and current Mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe is much more moderate in his programs and statements. Prime Minister of France under President Jacques Chirac, Foreign Minister in the government of Balladur, Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Defense Minister and finally Minister of Foreign and European Affairs for the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy is not the very first announced his presidential intentions. The authority in the region of Bordeaux, which he has managed since 2006 and the positive attitude of the majority of the French, as evidenced by the 49th place in the ranking of French favorite celebrities justify his ambition. Although objectively his chances of winning the primaries are less than Fillon’s, given the modest support from both voters and by competitors in the first round, of which only Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet made "for" his candidacy.

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However, debates on November 24 could potentially change the current situation: a) If Juppe prove unreasonableness radical proposals of Fillon and stops at its unpopular foreign policy positions; b) demonstrating moderate attitude of his program to "left" voters participating in this year's primaries can bring additional voices for Juppe.

Moderate attitude of his promises is concerning primarily domestic policy, where he promises to increase the working week to 39 hours, forcing officials to work more and reduce income tax by 2 billion euros. As for the foreign policy priorities, he sees a necessary part of the Middle East in the coalition against the Islamic state. Russia should enter into a dialogue.

Actions of Putin in Ukraine are not too clear, for Juppe Russia is a great country, with which no one should be in a conflict. But in certain moments, "someone should be afraid to tell Putin to stop, we do not annex its neighbors." This "stop" is economic sanctions.

Related: Poroshenko disappointed with decision of French National Assembly against anti-Russian sanctions

The future of Europe he sees the new Schengen Treaty, strengthening internal borders, the new security policy of the EU and reducing the bureaucracy in its major institutions. Overall candidacy of Juppe is favorable for Ukraine, at least with regard to restraint his attitude to Russia.

The choice between moderation and radicalism

November 27, France will choose again between moderation and radicalism, in fact, then it would become clear which “right” course is chosen. High voter turnout in previous elections (4 million members), the lack of a strong leader and low ratings of the Socialists do elections in 2017 for the right is more favorable, but the shadow of candidates Marine Le Pen and former Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron make you think? And, what is better in this case, radicalism or moderation?

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