The mayor of Saint-Privat-des-Vieux, also president of the association of mayors of Gard, comments on the attack suffered by the councilor of Manduel, returns to the failure of his third place in the race to the legislative election last year and gives his view on the functioning of Alès Agglomeration. Interview.
Objectif Gard: Recently, the mayor of Manduel was the victim of an assault (reread here). This is not the first time that an elected official has been the subject of a similar act. What response(s) can the association of mayors of the Gard that you chair provide to this scourge?
Philippe Ribot: It is the image of society. Relations between people are increasingly tense. We see it in schools. There are even security guards in the emergency room. We put security guards everywhere now! Personally, this has never happened to me. I try to be careful. When I have to remonstrate with people, I do so in a measured way. With the association of mayors of France, we follow training courses. Last year, my colleague Aurélien Colson, a specialist in negotiations, led a conference-debate on this subject. We also took very interesting workshops with negotiators from the GIGN as part of a partnership with the national gendarmerie. With scenarios to learn how to better manage tense situations. It was acclaimed by elected officials and we will continue to do so. In general, I am very satisfied with the reaction of the State services, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the gendarmerie, which take these acts of violence against elected officials very seriously. There is very good support! Last year, there was a problem with an elected official from Cardet. The authors took two years in prison, one year of which is firm. On the other hand, I am not for exceptional justice for elected officials. For the nurse, the teacher or the bus driver who is insulted or manhandled, the answer must be the same. These questionings of authority must be punished. Of course depending on the seriousness of the facts and the collection of evidence.
Let’s go back to this Legislative campaign last June and this third place synonymous with “defeat”. How did you cash it?
On Sunday evening, my team was more disappointed than me. I saw it coming. I’m starting to be shielded. Let’s say that there are things that depend on you and others that don’t. On the other hand, I regret not having better explained my approach and posed the challenge. The challenge was simple: avoid having four RN deputies in the Gard. My thinking was simple: I wanted neither Mélenchon nor Le Pen. Very briefly, that was the meaning of my approach. While wanting to ensure the promotion and defense of a territory that I know perfectly.
Looking back, do you regret migrating fromIDU at LREM (now renamed Renaissance) a few weeks before the election?
With l’IDU, I had discussions. Especially with the national secretary. The problem is that they were unable to choose. I wanted a union application for the territory, it never arrived.
But leaving home LREMyou thought you had the best chance of winning?
For a legislative election, it is not necessary to have the nomination fifteen days before. Already the campaign was short… So at some point, when you feel that there is no momentum, you have to make a decision. The presidential majority came to see me. I took my responsibilities and I went for it. On the other hand I had posed a condition, it was that of not adhering to Working. I wanted to be free. I had just committed to sit in the group To actex-UDI/LR, in case of victory. But even if I made it to the second round it wouldn’t have been easy. The RN wave was very strong. I think Mélenchon was more scary than Le Pen.
Exactly, a deputy national rally was elected. What is your view of the first months of Pierre Meurin at the head of this 4th district of Gard?
I haven’t met him officially. I’ve seen him at a few vow ceremonies. Nothing more. For the territory, when there are so many projects to carry out in terms of justice and education in particular, it’s a shame! When you have the possibility of having a deputy who sits in the majority, it’s always a little better. It allows you to have relays and to go faster. But it’s like that. I am fully in my mandate as mayor and departmental councillor.
Christophe Rivenq is often pleased with the “good atmosphere” that reigns between elected officials of all stripes at the Agglo, where “political politics” has no place. What does the vice-president that you are think of it?
The Agglo has always functioned relatively harmoniously. Everything is voted on by all the elected officials, it is that it suits everyone. The Communities of communes have this interest: it is that logically, even if this is not the case everywhere, there are no political groups. We have had committees of mayors for a long time. Long before it became mandatory. There are some nice projects to do. We work on major skills in the service of the territory, so there can be no politics. We are in the concrete. In the hard!
Finally, as departmental councilor of the canton of Alès 2, what is the major project of the second part of the term of office?
The one that obsesses us the most is that of the College of Salindres. The current one is obsolete and it is not possible that we will not build a new one. It should be done a few tens of meters from the current one. For everyone’s comfort and safety, it’s time to move on to another dimension!
Interview by Corentin Migoule