PARIS (Reuters) – Former Gard deputy and current National Rally (RN) European deputy Gilbert Collard announced on Saturday that he would join Eric Zemmour, candidate for the presidential election in France, several media reported.
The lawyer must formalize his support for the far-right writer at 6:30 p.m. in Cannes (Alpes-Martimes) where his Reconquest movement is organizing a political rally on the theme of the union of the rights.
In an interview with France Bleu Gard Lozre, Gilbert Collard said he was leaving Marine Le Pen’s RN to join Eric Zemmour for his “ideas”.
“I have nothing to say against Marine Le Pen and against the movement. I am leaving for reasons that are linked to what Eric Zemmour represents in this political fight. I join him for the ideas, I join him for the debate , for the taste of freedom,” he said.
“I think that one day will come when Marine Le Pen will be like me, will join Eric Zemmour, because he has for him a dynamic which is historical courage, political courage”, adds the Eurodput.
The departure of Gilbert Collard is the third defection in less than a week from the ranks of the National Rally after the departures of MEP Jrme Rivire and activist Damien Rieu, who was a collaborator of Gilbert Collard.
On his arrival in Cannes, Eric Zemmour declared: “The arrival of Gilbert Collard (…) first it was a friend who joined us, after Guillaume (Peltier), after Jrme (Rivire), after other , after Laurence Trochu, after Jean-Frdric Poisson.”
“It’s first of all a campaign of friendship, of camaraderie, it’s a political symbol because you can clearly see that all these people I mentioned come from different political families but that in truth, they have since aspired ten years, for twenty years, for thirty years, coming together,” he added.
Reacting to the announced departure of Gilbert Collard, Louis Aliot, the RN mayor of Perpignan declared on BFMTV: “He (Eric Zemmour) is today a bitter and jealous magnet, of course, but electorally speaking, in the opinion, I doubt he will rebound and I even think that a number of his positions are worrying our readership at large.”
According to the Ipsos-Sopra Steria survey for “Le Monde”, Marine Le Pen (15.5% of the vote) and Valrie Pcresse (candidate of the party Les Rpublicains, LR) are neck and neck in terms of voting intentions at the presidential election against Emmanuel Macron (25%). The two candidates are each 2.5 points ahead of Eric Zemmour (13%), in fourth position.
(Written by Nicolas Delame and Claude Chendjou)