It’s quite understandable that French politics is not of interest to us over here. However, the implications of the bunfight over there could well affect us.
21:05: A Copeiste finally comments: “Even Ségolène Royal did not contest an election to justice,” said Valérie Rosso-Debord copéiste i-TV, referring to congress in Reims where Martine Aubry and Ségolène Royal had contested the party leadership.
My comment: That seems to be just about it for now. The Commission is sitting and will no doubt finish for the evening and reconvene tomorrow. Good night all.
Ad nauseam: A Filloniste has just said that all the ingredients of a schism of the party are now present.
My comment: And again I say that the only active person in this is Fillon.
20:45: If Fillon does take legal recourse, he may do this under the High Court but the court may consider all remedies of the UMP must be exhausted prior to arbitrating the conflict itself. The party has for this purpose a National Commission of Appeals duly authorized. A standing committee, this body is chaired by Yanick Paternotte Mayor Sannois and former member of the Val d’Oise. Its members, renewed in 2010 after the death of Robert Pandraud, who chaired the Commission, were elected by the National Council of the UMP, a sort of parliament house, and not appointed by the party leader.
The legal feeling is that it is quite dangerous for political parties to take such recourse as if a court appointed administrator takes over in the interim, all party doings will come under investigation. One would imagine Fillon will have pressure brought to bear not to go this route. He keeps speaking of justice but surely justice means he will take the decision of the Commission – it might even be favourable to him.
My comment: If Fillon took this course after a Commission approved Cope, he would not be in a good position, as it would bring UMP under scrutiny far more, which in the light of the current Sarkozy investigation, might not be desired by the party.
20:30: Various Fillonistes are being interviewed currently on how badly Cope has behaved – Cope is responsible for all the trouble Fillon has brought, according to them. Does it sound a bit Hamas to you? Meanwhile, Cope remains elected leader.
20:17: François Fillon has announced that he intends to “seize justice” to “restore the truth of the results.”
My comment: The word was “seize”, not “seek”. “Saisira”, “saisit”. Any further proof needed of who is fit to lead this party? Another group which is dedicated to “seizing power” with their “leading beyond authority” is Common Purpose. People, this is a trial run for when the people start to do this to the left-liberal establishment over here. It won’t be pretty.
20:07: “Il faut respecter les statuts”, a dit Jean-François Copé en réaction à l’échec de la médiation d’Alain Juppé. Le président proclamé de l’UMP a ajouté attendre que la commission des recours prononce le nom du vainqueur.
“We must respect the Constitution,” said Jean-Francois Cope in response to the failure of the mediation Alain Juppé. The President declared UMP should wait until the Appeals Board decides the winner.
My comment: Interesting that le figaro, pro-Fillon, accompanied this text with the heading: “La droite morte.” Oh really – waiting for a Commission decision is “the right is dead”? This gives you an idea how each side is fighting this thing.
Juppé jette l’éponge
Alain Juppe said the conditions of mediation for the presidency of the UMP between Jean-Francois Cope and François Fillon were “not satisfied” and, therefore, its mission was “completed” in a statement.
My comment: Anyone could have told him that. A man like Fillon who won’t accept the umpire’s decision on something he even signed-off only wants one thing and Cope is not going to give it to him because he moans for it.
19:49: Meeting between Alain Juppé, Jean-Francois Cope and François Fillon has failed to reach an agreement. “It is dead,” confided one intermediary to le Figaro.
While we wait: Cope has already offered the vice-presidency to Fillon, which a henchman described as “grotesque”. Le Monde, the left-liberal paper, had a headline:
One would have to agree – this is between two men who want to be the leader no matter what – one elected and one crying foul.
19:30: Fillonisti: “Wait, wait. Cope proposes a governance solution, not a solution to the crisis,” say supporters of the deputy of Paris, cited by the intermediary. The fillonistes keep repeating that because “there is doubt, the doubt should be resolved.”
My comment: The Fillonists have been saying that Cope has had two coups already – that Fillon had to sign-off on Monday under duress, before he was ready, that he had to accept it on Wednesday and that they don’t like Cope’s new proposal which doesn’t make their man president, even though there would be a commission with them as half the members.
They put their whole faith in the three late constituencies. Trouble is, if they go to Commission, the Commission would investigate Nice. They want the transfer to Fillon during this meeting tonight.
19:15: The Appeals Board has announced it will resume at 20 hours.
19:06 [Paris time]: Jean-Francois Cope may propose an agreement during the conciliation meeting with Alain Juppé and François Fillon, it was learned from an intermediary. He would remain president of the UMP, but Alain Juppé be appointed Chairman of Executive Board, a new collegial body. All positions are split between the party and fillonistes copéistes. Cope should do this at the start of the opening meeting of the National Assembly.
17:47 [Paris time]: François Fillon and Jean-Francois Cope must meet at 19 hours in the National Assembly within the office of Gilles Carrez, chairman of the Committee on Finances. Member of the Val de Marne, who had remained neutral in the campaign, he is seen as”a man of good will, honesty, integrity, law and who can count,” said a senior UMP official. It is slated to be part of the mediation led by the mayor of Bordeaux.
Coming up to speed
1. The UMP were voting for the presidency of the party but not necessarily of the next presidential candidate. It’s been a long, gruelling campaign and the two standout runners were Fillon and Cope.
2. Fillon was the popular favourite in the community’s eyes – a Sarkozy pro-EU, Pink Tory compromise on everything candidate with the best Euro-credentials – similar over here would be Cameron, Clarke, Osborne.
3. Cope was liked by half the party faithful because he believed and ran on “unashamed conservatism”. His opponents have tried to sheet home racism [cf. UKIP] on him for his demand Muslims assimilate. No prizes for guessing which one I’d like to see in.
4. Fillon had it all wrapped up – they’d done the groundwork, the media were in his pocket, he was the next big man to take over once Hollande imploded. He actually lost the vote by a narrow margin.
5. This next is important – last Monday, according to party rules, both candidates signed off on the result but Fillon started carping about voting irregularities with Cope. Cope immediately charged Fillon with the Nice results where there was a Tammany Hall thing done apparently.
6. That’s how it would have remained except Fillon’s aides discovered three overseas constituencies [e.g. South Pacific] where the votes had not been included. If they had, he claims he would have won by 26 from 18 000 plus. He immediately claimed he had won and that the handling of the transfer of power would be done through Alain Juppe, the founding father of the party, whose reputation is good in France across party lines.
7. Juppe proposed a meeting where they could all “amicably settle this”, the two candidates being reasonable men. He would be the neutral adjudicator with the casting vote, both Fillon and Cope would nominate someone and two others acceptable to both candidates would be included.
8. The Commission of Appeals for the party, the official body which handles such matters, said hang on – we must be at that meeting, as the rules state that we are the only ones who can pronounce on this, not Juppe in some cozy meeting or anyone else. Cope agreed.
9. Fillon was perfectly happy for Juppe to chair a cozy meeting where, on the strength of that 26 vote margin, the transfer would be decently done.
10. Cope said no way – the Commission is the only body which can adjudicate. Juppe said well, they can come along to our little chat about power if they like but he reserved the power of veto over them. The Commission said no way, Cope said no way.
11. They did meet today but resolved nothing and agreed to reconvene at 19 this evening, 20 minutes from now.
12. Meanwhile, the Fillon nominee has refused to take part and a major party powerbroker, Lefebvre, has condemned the impartiality of Juppe.
13. Many party members who were leaning Fillon’s way on the strength of the uncounted votes, even though both sides signed off on the leadership, have now changed their minds in what they see as a beat-up, a coup. Dati has come out and said that the only fair way is for the Commission to handle the whole thing.
14. Fillon flatly refuses this because he knows they’ll favour the elected incumbent, Cope. And that’s where we are. I’ll live blog here as things happen.
I put all this to my mate who is pretty much thinking the way we do, e.g. he would have supported Guido’s, LR’s and my posts on the Rotherham thing. I put the French thing as accurately as I could because I wanted to know what he really thought.
His opinion was that if Fillon gets the nod after this meeting, it would split UMP and that would be perfect for the socialists. On the other hand, if Cope retained his elected victory, then the people of France would be split because Cope is seen as a Farage, only a bit more hardline.
Let’s say Cope does win – that means that UMP will go small c conservative and that’s the last thing the left-liberal and actually Marxist PTB want, especially with the EU on its last legs.
Interesting times – stay tuned. As I say, I’ll live blog on this.