MP vowing for 'Jewish-Christian' France becomes Republicans party head
The French Republicans party voted to appoint Eric Ciotti as party leader that withholds a history of far-right nationalist views, especially against immigrants.
In attempts to come back from their disappointing presidential election results in 2022, France's Republicans party elected a new leader on Sunday.
The party's 91,000 members voted in favor of appointing extreme conservative Eric Ciotti, an MP from southern Nice, by 53.7 compared to his defeated party rival Bruno Retailleau who received 46.3% of the votes.
Despite gaining the majority in the upper-house Senate, the party's presidential candidate scored just around 4.8% of the votes as previous party voters opted to vote either for President Emmanuel Macron or candidates from the far-right.
The Republicans have 62 lawmakers, which places them in a significant spot to influence votes in the parliament, which is why Macron has come to the party on several occasions requesting backup to pass legislative proposals.
Among the bills that Macron is hoping backing for from the Republicans is the pension reform, which is expected to be presented to the parliament at the beginning of 2023, and is one of the president's primary long-lived goals.
The new 57-year-old Republicans leader holds extreme views on immigration issues and the "French identity".
Ciotti tried to leverage his chances of becoming the party's presidential candidate for the 2022 elections by vowing to uphold and defend "Jewish-Christian" France in the face of the migrant's "invasion", also proposing to create a "French Guantanamo" for what he labeled as Islamic extremists.
It's noteworthy that Philippe Martinez, the head of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), France's leading trade union, announced earlier this week that France will see a wave of mass strikes in early 2023 if the government does not roll back its pension reform.
The reform states that the retirement age in the country will go from 62 up to 65 by 2031.
France's largest trade unions such as CGT, Solidaires, and FSU made a press release last Wednesday announcing their rejection of the reform aim at raising the retirement age.
The unions also announced that they will hit the streets in January of 2023 if the government does not give in to their request.