In Occitania, the Canal du Midi is a bit of an aquatic hyphen that links the two former regions of Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon. The one that votes to the left and the one that leans to the right, all along the Mediterranean coast. It is on the banks of this canal that Jean-Paul Garraud, the candidate supported by the National Rally (RN), is pursuing a campaign which, for the moment, places him at the top of an Ipsos poll with a score of 33% votes in the first round. In voting intentions, he is ahead of outgoing Socialist President Carole Delga (30%) and relegates far behind the lists Les Républicains and La République en Marche, both at 11%.
“The noose is loosening, and in my opinion we are closer to 35%”, comments this 65-year-old magistrate, former deputy for Gironde, then European deputy since 2019 under the colors of the RN. Courted in 2015 by Marine Le Pen, he founded the popular Right movement, alongside Thierry Mariani, before becoming the “Sir justice” of the far-right party.
“I am a populist and I am proud to say it », Affirms Jean-Paul Garraud. Close to Louis Aliot and supported by Robert Ménard, the mayors of Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) and Béziers (Hérault), the former examining magistrate in Toulouse from 1985 to 1992 led an active campaign. “The region is winnable”, he repeats. The step will be high. First to exceed the score of Louis Aliot, who came first in the first round in 2015, with 31.8%, but who had not benefited from any pool of votes for the second. “Our objective is obviously to do better, then to convince the voters The Republicans [LR] to join us, which I have no doubt ”, launches Mr. Garraud.
Faced with this « siphonnage », the nominated LR candidate, Aurélien Pradié, attacks his opponent head-on: “A political imposture, a contemptuous man who quickly loses his temper, a magistrate who knows nothing about basic problems. “ The two men hate each other; they almost came to blows after a televised debate.
“A security shield”
Building on the usual themes of the National Gathering – “Even if I am not inserted and that the party does not give a penny for my campaign”, specifies the one that some see as the future minister of justice in the event of victory of the RN in 2022 -, Mr. Garraud multiplies the interventions on migration issues and insecurity, “The ongoing chaos in our towns and countryside”. He wants to create a “Vice-presidency for security and victims for a security shield”, “Strengthen video surveillance in cities and TER” or “Oblige associations to sign a regional interest charter in order to obtain grants; they will have to make a commitment not to help migrants ”.
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