“If Jordan Bardella comes into business in France, it won’t change much for us” | EUROtoday

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Between indifference in direction of the development of the intense proper in France and concern for his or her nationals dwelling in France, African leaders have remained discreet concerning the outcomes of the European elections of June 9 throughout which the National Rally (RN ) got here first within the votes with 31.4% of the votes and on the dissolution of the National Assembly in Paris. In the presidencies and ministries of French-speaking Africa, the outcomes of the legislative elections on July 7 are awaited with out pleasure.

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“Before, when people coughed in Paris, they sneezed in Dakar! “, quips a close friend of Ousmane Sonko, the Senegalese Prime Minister: “There, the dissolution did not cause the executive to react, even the press spoke very little about it. This demonstrates the ongoing rupture in our relations with France. The new generation no longer considers Paris to be the metronome of our lives. »

Ousmane Sonko, the leader of Pastef (African Patriots of Senegal for work, ethics and fraternity), and his former right-hand man who became president, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, have for several years displayed their closeness to La France insoumise (LFI) and its founder, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was in Dakar in May. They themselves advocate sovereignism and have based their foreign policy discourse on the end of neocolonialism, embodied by the CFA franc and the presence of French military bases in certain former colonies.

On the other hand, former President Macky Sall took seriously Marine Le Pen, a leading figure of the French far right, whom he received in January 2023 at the presidential palace, causing controversy. One of his advisors then admitted “not being able to ignore the National Rally”.

“A non-subject”

Today, the hypothesis of seeing his foal, Jordan Bardella, at the helm of the next French government is “a non-subject”, according to Vieux Aidara, a Pastef executive. And to cite the example of Giorgia Meloni, who, through her speeches targeting immigration, had raised concerns in African countries which have strong communities in Italy: “Despite his accession to power [en octobre 2022], there have been no changes in relations between Italy and Senegal. » “The new French leaders, too, will be caught up with reality”, wants to believe a Mauritanian source.

Long considered inaccessible, the party heir to the National Front (FN) is deploying its networks in Africa while, at the same time, French diplomacy is losing its influence. In addition to her trip to Senegal, Marine Le Pen traveled to Chad in 2017, shortly before the first round of the presidential election. She had attacked Françafrique alongside the then president, Idriss Déby Itno, an old ally of France in the region, and assured that she wanted to establish a “adult relationship” with the continent.

Read additionally: In Senegal, Marine Le Pen's visit annoys: “Her conscience ought to forbid her from setting foot on African soil”

Seven years later, the RN is a part of the panorama for the decision-makers in place in N'Djamena. “These elections are a cataclysm for French political life, but if Jordan Bardella comes to power, it will not change much for usconfides an official. We will adapt all the more easily since Marine Le Pen was the first to congratulate our president [Mahamat Idriss Déby] after his election [en mai]. »

In Djibouti, another country which hosts a French contingent (the largest, with 1,500 men), a person close to the presidency ensures that, there too, ” nothing will change “ if the RN were to come to power, because there Franco-Djiboutian relationship is governed by the military base, which is too important for Paris” attributable to its strategic place on the commerce route between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

” A nasty for an excellent ” ?

In Burkina Faso, whose authorities have turned away from France in favor of Russia, the daily The country is not far from rejoicing at the rise of the far right in Europe. It could be a blessing in disguise for Africa […] Beyond the migration issue, this rise in nationalism in Europe occurs in the context of a rapidly changing Africa, where more and more African countries are invoking the question of their sovereignty in the choice and diversification of their partners. […] This way of refocusing on themselves denotes a desire to break with an old order. »

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The tension between Paris and several countries on the continent has been fueled by France's visa policy, considered too restrictive and discriminatory in many African capitals. Will the RN come, as it promises, to further tighten the rules for entering French territory? “If visas are blocked by France, we will apply reciprocity”replies the Chadian official previously cited.

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In Ivory Coast – one of Paris's last confirmed allies in West Africa – a presidential palace executive wonders about the local repercussions that too strong a friendship with far-right French leaders could have. . “The question of relations between our ministers and RN ministers will arise if France decides to pursue a policy that would be unpopular with us”, he said. And to conclude with disappointment: “France is taking on a new face which will accelerate its fall in Africa. »

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