François Fillon confirmed what everybody was expecting. He is going to run the UMP’s Chair during the next November party’s Congress.
The former French PM is entering in the ring and clearly clashes Jean-François Copé, the current UMP Secretary General. His objective? Being the UMP leader, sine qua none condition to be the Right-candidate for the 2017 presidential race against François Hollande.
Fillon considers his time has come, seen as “Mr. Loyal”, of no real account and political influence, discredited within the UMP and the government, and considered as a “collaborator” by Nicolas Sarkozy during a long time. In other words, it was a man without any ambition and no really dangerous.
Nonetheless, the ex-head of government hopes causing the stir and imposing himself as the new UMP leader putting his experience and criticizing the Sarkozysm forward. Indeed, Fillon wishes to appear as the anti-Sarkozy, a kind of antithesis of the ex-French president, approving his policies during his mandate both. This attitude is not new insofar as the former Prime minister wanted to appear as a moderate man in comparison with Nicolas Sarkozy reputed for his over-activity and his brutal attitudes and statements. This strategy was efficient allowing François Fillon to be more popular than Nicolas Sarkozy and to protect himself compared with the ex-president, politically speaking, in order to keep his political ambitions not for 2012 but for 2017.
François Fillon bets on the experience and his moderation to appear as a solution within the UMP, vis-à-vis the Sarkozy’s loyal supporters who fell as orphans, especially in comparison with Jean-François Copé considered as too ambitious and perfidious for some people. What is more, reaching the UMP Chair would be as a revenge for a man who patiently waited his moment to be on the spotlights.
Nonetheless, the ex-PM will have a hard job imposing himself within the movement and vis-à-vis Jean-François Copé clearly determined to remain the UMP Secretary General and who is far to be disowned as the recent re-election of Christian Jacob (support of Copé) as UMP group leader in the French Parliament against Xavier Bertrand (backed by Fillon) showed. The former Prime is aware of it and needs troops to impose himself at the head of UMP and be the leader of the opposition. The struggle is going to be harsh, very harsh!