Rififi in the 5th district of the French abroad

The outgoing deputy LREM, Stéphane Vojetta, does not want to withdraw in favor of Manuel Valls, invested by the presidential majority. Real political drumming.

Following the reform of the French constitution in July 2008 and taking advantage of the redrawing of the boundaries in 2010, 11 legislative districts were created abroad to allow French citizens living outside France to elect their representatives to the National Assembly. If the number of French living abroad is debated (they would be about 3.5 million), we know that 1,614,772 are registered on the electoral lists for the presidential and legislative elections of 2022.

Eleven constituencies of French citizens living abroad (Wikimedia Commons)
Eleven constituencies of French citizens living abroad (Wikimedia Commons)

Stéphane Vojetta deputy since 2021

Stéphane Vojetta, MP for the 5th constituency of the French abroad (campaign poster)
Stéphane Vojetta, MP for the 5th constituency of the French abroad (campaign poster)

In the 5th constituency, which includes the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) but also the Azores, the Canary Islands, Andorra and Monaco, it is Stéphane Vojetta who is LREM deputy. This businessman born in Nancy in 1974 became a deputy on October 6, 2021 when Samantha Cazebonne, whose deputy he was, became senator. It is therefore quite natural that he is a candidate for his own succession and seeks the votes of 103,299 of his French compatriots in this part of the world.

A job for Valls

The trouble is that the presidential majority has just invested another candidate in the 5ᵉ constituency of the French abroad: the ineffable Manuel Valls, the former Prime Minister of François Hollande. Former mayor of Evry, former deputy of Essonne, former Minister of the Interior, former Prime Minister, former unsuccessful candidate in the 2017 citizens’ primary, Manuel Valls left the Socialist party to hang on to La République en Marche. In 2018, he announced his withdrawal from French politics to run for the municipal elections in his hometown, Barcelona. Beaten to the punch (with 13.18% of the vote) he returned to France to seek a (small) job that would ensure his livelihood.
Manuel Valls no longer has any mandate. However, he runs around on TV, gives interviews, and courts the President of the Republic, who was once his Minister of the Economy. By dint of giving handouts and reaching out, of pandering to some and others, the former Prime Minister has just, finally, won the nomination for the 5ᵉ constituency of the French abroad. A drumming that does not go unnoticed. For nothing explains, nor justifies, this gift to Manuel Valls.

“Loyalty and word given”

The incumbent, Stephane Vojetta, took the blow in the stomach. He issued a statement on Twitter on May 5. “Many of us are surprised by the nomination of Manuel Valls,” he wrote. I am the first. As a deputy close and, I think, appreciated by my compatriots, I was the “natural candidate” for the nomination in this constituency where I landed my bags about twenty years ago and to which I remained faithful …. I have demonstrated my principles, my commitment and my loyalty to the presidential majority and to my French community. These values are precisely the ones that push me today to refuse the parachuting and other jolts of the “old world”.
I will therefore be a candidate for the legislative elections in this constituency in order to continue the actions that I initiated as a deputy. But also, because the French people of the district deserve to be represented by a person for whom loyalty, proximity and the given word have a value “.
Two candidates of the presidential majority for the same district, there is necessarily one too many. Selection-elimination on June 5, 2022, date of the first round.