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Aliot, historic frontist and new mayor

Four attempts and one election. Louis Aliot won the town hall of Perpignan, during the second round of the municipal elections. Historical framework of the National Gathering, he successfully experimented in the Catalan city with a more moderate line to bring together beyond his party.

Already elected in 2017 deputy for the Pyrénées-Orientales, this 50-year-old lawyer offers the far-right party his first victory in a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants, since that obtained in Toulon (1995-2001). In Perpignan, where precariousness and insecurity thrive, the former vice-president of the FN (from 2011 to 2018) benefited from the wear and tear of outgoing LR mayor Jean-Marc Pujol to win the second round with around 53-54% votes, after having totaled 35.6% in the 1st round, after its failures of 2008, 2009 and 2014.

This speaker much appreciated by activists of his party has his outspokenness, but on the contrary of his mentor Jean-Marie Le Pen, of which he was chief of staff, not a slip to his credit during the municipal campaign.

Joined the FN at 20

The deputy of the National Rally "forged in Perpignan a different image, smoother than that of RN, more reassuring"for voters, says Nicolas Lebourg, specialist on the far right and coordinator of the citizenship chair at Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye." He does not speak of Islam or immigration, he avoids subjects cleavers. He has a polite speech in the service of the fusion of rights (between the extreme right and the classic right, note). He's a Jacobin, a compassionate conservative, a sort of centrist from the far right", continues the political scientist.

Originally from Ariège, a socialist land and neighboring department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, he is the son of a plasterer and a returnee from Algeria, who were among the 0.75% of French people who voted for Jean-Marie Le Pen during the presidential election in 1972. After studying law in Toulouse, he established himself as the FN referent for the Midi-Pyrénées region, before his establishment in Perpignan, in 2008.

Joined the FN at 20, he stood out in the party for his activism against the secession of Bruno Mégret. He was successively elected regional councilor for Midi-Pyrénées (1998-2010), then for Languedoc-Roussillon (2010-2015), member of the European Parliament (2014-2017). Divorced, father of two children, he was then the companion of Marine Le Pen, whose rise he accompanied at the head of the FN, advocating with her the "demonization" of the party accusations of racism and anti-Semitism. Louis Aliot now shares his life with a Perpignan woman.

Candidate for the head of an unlabeled list

In Perpignan, he presented an unlabeled list, so as not to frighten some of his running mates, embarrassed by the logo of the National Rally. During the municipal campaign, he did not seek the support of any RN manager. Close to Jean-Marie Le Pen at the start of his career, then to Marine Le Pen, he appears today rather with the mayor of Béziers Robert Ménard, re-elected in the first round.

Jean-Marc Pujol accuses him of "advancing masked and trying to conceal his belonging to the far right" and describes him as "the FN's apparatchik". "Louis Aliot has a fair game of saying that he will put an end to clientelism in Perpignan. We forget that he is under investigation. He is also against marriage for all and abortion", underlines the ecologist Agnès Langevine, 14.5% in the 1st round. She withdrew in the name of a" republican front ", that Aliot qualified" swindle ". Charged in the affair allegedly fictitious jobs of assistants to MEPs from the far-right party, "a fairly trivial affair", according to Aliot.

"The FN can only win by getting out of lepénisme. Aliot, pure product of lepénisme, wins by having broken. If his moderate line wins, that will ask questions within the party, on the political line to lead", estimates political scientist Nicolas Lebourg. The weight of Louis Aliot would thus be reinforced. For sociologist Dominique Sistach, "the demonization of the RN worked in Perpignan, but it remains a party of the extreme right. It is not a party of notables, but it has been accepted in the landscape, it is a novelty".

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