The mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, was elected, Wednesday, November 17, president of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) with 62.34% of the votes in a poll attended by around 11,000 of the over 34 000 members of the organization of local elected officials. He succeeds François Baroin: the mayor Les Républicains de Troyes announced at the end of August that he would not run for a third term and had supported the candidacy of Mr. Lisnard, a member of the same party and already vice-president of the AMF .
This support had displeased the secretary general of the AMF, Philippe Laurent, UDI mayor of Sceaux, in the Paris region, who then embarked on the race and whose list obtained, Wednesday, 37.66% of the votes. Beyond the personality of the two suitors, there are two opposing ways of understanding relations with Emmanuel Macron that clashed: Mr. Lisnard, well anchored to the right, wants to be the guarantor of “Independent DNA” of the AMF which characterized the seven years of mandate of Mr. Baroin, while Mr. Laurent is more willing to dialogue with the executive.
The vote presented an additional element of uncertainty compared to the previous polls, the mayors being able to express themselves from a distance. The thirty-six members of the bureau and the hundred members of the management committee were also elected on a proportional basis, according to their position on the list of each of the candidates. Mr. Lisnard’s victory will not prevent cohabitation with Mr. Laurent’s list within the AMF for the next three years.
“The AMF must above all not be monopolized by a clan”
In his speech Tuesday to the mayors, Mr. Laurent defended a “AMF which is not for or against anyone and which has a single compass: the cause of mayors”. “I will not take a stand for any presidential candidate”, he assured. For his part, Mr. Lisnard insisted on the need “Independence of power whatever it is”. “The AMF must above all not be monopolized by a clan”, he stressed.
The supposed proximity of its competitor to the Elysee Palace constitutes the main angle of attack of the mayor of Cannes. The mayor of Sceaux vigorously defends himself and the executive has said on several occasions that he was not at the origin of his candidacy.
The election at the head of the AMF also created a stir within the Republicans (LR) party. The president of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, Renaud Muselier, called on the mayors of his region to vote for Mr. Laurent, against the mayor of Cannes, launching a heavy charge against Mr. Lisnard, “Nestled in its Palais des Festivals”, “From the top of his red carpet”, while he is from the same party and the same region. “Political revenge” and “Nauseating caricature” of Cannes, lambasted the leader of the deputies LR Damien Abad. The candidate for the LR nomination Eric Ciotti, very close to Mr. Lisnard, pleaded for a “Automatic exclusion of the Macronist Muselier infiltrator”.
This election comes at the end of a five-year term marked by strong tensions between the executive and the mayors. Shortly after his arrival at the Elysee Palace, when he had announced the abolition of the housing tax, Emmanuel Macron was whistled during his first intervention at the AMF congress.
The President of the Republic is to receive at the Elysée a little over a thousand mayors during a “Rather informal reception” and without speech, Wednesday afternoon, according to the presidency. The Head of State will then speak, Thursday afternoon, at the end of the congress. According to the Elysee, “He will thank the mayors for their action during the epidemic” and “Insist on supporting local authorities since the start of the five-year term”.